A Roadmap to Strengthen Quality Infrastructure for Trade

The Quality Infrastructure for Trade Facilitation (QI4TF) toolkit and methodology developed by UNIDO are now available. This toolkit provides a step-by-step and methodological approach on how to apply the QI4TF toolkit in order to arrive at a consensus-built roadmap that will ensure the smooth flow of goods across borders.

The application of the toolkit entails a value chain approach – in South Africa it was piloted in the essential oils sector, and in Malawi, in the food sector. Following these pilot applications, the e-tool was developed, and piloted in Tanzania in the sunflower and palm oil value chains. The e-tool is applied in a workshop setting with stakeholders from industry and government. Stakeholders first identify gaps within their quality infrastructure system that hinder trade facilitation and subsequently agree on the prioritization of key activities. The e-tool is comprised of 93 questions, which have 6 possible choices as a response. The variables and possible combinations of responses can be millions after each iteration. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning algorithms can make it easier to analyze these responses at a faster rate and prioritize them, so that industry and government stakeholders can more easily identify important gaps in order to improve quality infrastructure for trade facilitation.

The toolkit underscores that an effective and efficient quality infrastructure system – and its associated services of internationally recognized testing, inspection and certification – supports the implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), by developing countries and least developed countries (LDCs), specifically in accordance with Articles 5.3, 7.9, 8 and 12.1.

The QI4TF toolkit was developed under the project, “Testing and inspection assessment tool for effective trade facilitation”, with support from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Through the application of the electronic toolkit (e-tool), country National Trade Facilitation Committees (NTFCs) are able to systematically identify technical gaps to improve the quality infrastructure system (QIS) required to facilitate trade.

Read about the methodology here

Find out how to apply the QI4TF toolkit here

For more information contact Juan Pablo Davila (J.Davila [at] unido.org)