Policymakers expect that regional infrastructure for trade facilitation (RITF) will help growth and poverty reduction. This is well founded in theory but has limited evidence in practice. This project contributes to the body of research inspiring better evaluation and policies related to RITF.
It unpacks infrastructure distinguishing among different types, such as physical and regulatory infrastructure, and highlights the importance of focusing on the regional dimension. However, addressing infrastructure (hard and soft) at the regional level is not without challenges. A range of vested interests and other political economy considerations exist in dealing with both hard and soft infrastructure for trade facilitation at the regional level, such as:
(i) appropriation of benefits versus costs of investing in hard infrastructure regionally
(ii) appropriation of benefits by intermediaries and competition in logistic services
(iii) the challenge of addressing non-tariff measures