|Trade and Transport Facilitation Audit of the Baltic States (TTFBS): On a Fast Track to Economic Development (02/2005)|
|Finnish Consultants Team led by Mr. Lauri Ojala and Mr. Tapio Naula (Customs issues and logistics services)|
|Reports/Studies-Final, Web Sites|
|Combined Transport, Logistics/Trade Facilitation, Transport General|
|Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania|
Among the notable trends in the Baltic States is the rapid increase of demand for transport, which has grown at a rate higher than that of the gross national product. Each of the Baltic States has experienced substantial growth in the volume of merchandise exports and imports. This trend is partly a reflection of the rapid growth of transit traffic.
While the overwhelming part of the Baltic States’ trade is directed toward other EU countries, the trade with the non-EU countries still remains an area where trade and transport facilitation is a potential source of prosperity for the Baltic States.
The Baltic Transport and Trade Facilitation study reported here provides a review of the situation pertaining to international transport and trade, in terms of transaction and transport costs and efficiency of the related services. It highlights difficulties that could be alleviated through streamlining and systematic rationalization of administrative procedures, while safeguarding the statutory and regulatory missions of the Governments in respect of domestic protection and defense of its basic national interests. The focus is on procedural and documentary requirements and quality of logistic services and infrastructure available to traders. The study also provides a comprehensive set of remedial actions to be undertaken by the various agencies involved in international transport
The report is based on a large number of interviews, transport sector reports, foreign trade data and case studies on the Baltic States. The firms interviewed include both importers and exporters from a number of industries (e.g., manufacturers, freight forwarders, transport firms, retail operators, agricultural firms, and commercial banks).
Over 200 interviews were conducted by the team of consultants between April and July 2004, on several visits to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The study period overlapped with the Baltic States’ accession to the EU and NATO. This provided an opportunity for the study team to observe the challenges of such transition.