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UNCTAD and 5 UN regional agencies have launched a 4-year project on the use of blockchain to simplify and expedite import, export, and transit procedures.

Blockchain can help ease trade in the wake of supply chain crises, such as those emanating from the blockage of the Suez Canal, the COVID pandemic, and the war in Ukraine, which have caused catastrophic trade disruptions, especially in developing countries. UNCTAD will work with 5 regional and other UN regional commissions including the Economic Commission for Africa on the project, coordinating the collaboration of public and private sectors working on trade facilitation and blockchain, leveraging its expertise in trade, innovation, and the role of blockchain and technological change in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

UNCTAD will conduct training sessions on blockchain in trade facilitation for decision-makers from developing countries and institutions during global, regional, and national capacity-building workshops. It will also produce a global report on blockchain’s implications on trade facilitation performance and trade. Funded by the UN Development Account, the project is expected to benefit over 200 people engaged in trade facilitation in at least 5 developing countries, one from each region. It will strengthen national innovation and technological capacities related to blockchain technology in customs and trade operations in the selected countries. The goal is to increase trade and enhance competitiveness in support of sustainable development, the SDGs, and Agenda 2030.


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