About the product
The United Nations Regional Commissions, in partnership with other key United Nations Organizations, have committed to supporting member States in implementing the WTO TFA. This report is part of that commitment and the policy recommendations and technical standards developed by UNECE and UN/CEFACT are key implementation tools not only for the UNECE region, but also for other regions across the world. Facilitating trade and reducing trade barriers is of central importance to the economies of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) as it enables them to better connect and gain from regional and global value chains and to fully harness the potential of trade as an engine for growth and sustainable development. Yet, both in the UNECE region and globally, trade barriers remain high. According to the latest data from the ESCAP-World Bank International Trade Cost Database, the overall cost of trading goods among the three largest European Union (EU) economies remains at a 42% average tariff on the value of traded goods while it reaches a peak of 169% for trading with South-Eastern Europe. Similarly, the cost of trading among Central Asian countries averages 75%, while it reaches 153% with the three largest EU countries.