At both the global and regional levels, the stages of implementing trade facilitation vary by group or type of action. In general, the scale of implementation of WTO AFA-related measures, such as transparency measures, is relatively high, while measures involving the use of information communication technologies (ICTs) or cross-border cooperation have significantly reduced implementation rates. Again, the overall and Asia-Pacific rates of implementation of paperless cross-border trade measures follow similar patterns. Chart 4 shows that countries have made progress in implementing electronic transaction legislation and regulation, with more than 60% of countries developing some or all of the legal framework. Measures such as the electronic exchange of health and plant health certificates and paperless collection of payments from documentary letters of credit achieve very low regional implementation rates, demonstrating the lack of an institutional and legal framework to support paperless cross-border trade and implement paperless systems. The Asia-Pacific region exceeds the overall rate of implementation of paperless cross-border trade measures: electronic exchange of certificates of origin; This is largely due to the progress made by ASEAN economies in this area since 2018. The framework agreement is entirely dedicated to the digitization of trade processes to enable the exchange and mutual recognition of data and documents related to e-commerce in electronic form between national and sub-regional systems of paperless trade. The digitization of trade or the simplification and digitization of international trade procedures will help the Asia-Pacific region use international trade for sustainable development. The shift from paper to electronic data and information exchange should make international trade simpler, more transparent, more efficient and therefore more inclusive and less environmentally friendly. [ii] Global implementation rate data are from the Global Report Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation (2019), available on www.unescap.org/resources/digital-and-sustainable-trade-facilitation-global-report-2019 (available November 18, 2019). Regionally in Asia and the Pacific Ocean, levels of trade facilitation vary widely from sub-region and country to country (see Chart 2).
In addition to Australia and New Zealand, East and North-East Asia reached the highest average level of transposition (79.3%), followed by Southeast Asia, North Asia and Northeast Asia, as well as South and Southeast Asia. The pacific island`s developing countries are far behind other sub-regions. At the country level, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand reach a value of more than 90%. The regional implementation rate has increased by more than 10% since the last survey in 2017 and reached nearly 60% in 2019. All countries and sub-regions have made progress. The greatest progress is observed in North and Central Asia, followed by Southeast Asia and South and Southwest Asia. Figure 3: Implementation of Paperless Trade Measures around the world and asia-Pacific The treaty, which focuses exclusively on paperless trade, helps the parties to implement trade facilitation measures in an innovative way and to rapidly embark on a knowledge-based economy. It also complements the WTO agreement on trade facilitation and other (sub-) regional efforts in the area of paperless trade and e-commerce, thereby contributing to the effective implementation of these initiatives.