Jakarta Post

Removing the Trade Obstacles

Removing the Trade Obstacles

Globally, up to 1.3 billion tons of food are lost or wasted each year because of unnecessary trade barriers, and hunger is a dramatic consequence.

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Removing the Trade Obstacles

This article originally appeared in Jakarta Post.

As the World Trade Organization (WTO) nations approach the July 31 deadline to ratify the Bali Trade Facilitation Agreement, dozens of trucks queue to cross the border from Kenya to Uganda.

Hauling tomatoes along East Africa’s northern border, these truckers have lost up to four hours in reduced speed because of poor road conditions along some segments. But when they approach the border, the delays get longer. It takes on average a full day for them to complete the paperwork required to cross from Kenya into Uganda.

The delay would cause financial losses with any freight, but it is especially troublesome with agricultural goods, where delays could leave much of a truckload unfit for sale at its destination.

This same losing scenario plays out in Mexico, too. Guatemalan exporters sending goods overland to Mexico are forced to offload their cargo from Guatemalan trucks at the border and reload it onto Mexican trucks, a regulatory hurdle that both contributes to food spoilage and discourages commerce.

Read the full article in Jakarta Post

Mark Gottfredson is a Bain & Company partner based in Dallas. Gerry Mattios is a Bain & Company principal based in Beijing.


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