International trade is the engine of the global economy. More people, goods and services are crossing borders than ever before. But trade is changing - today, products and the services that go with them are sourced from all over the world.
As goods cross borders many times, first as inputs and then as final products, fast and efficient customs and port procedures are essential. Unduly complex processes and documentation raise costs and cause delays, and ultimately, businesses, economies and consumers bear the cost. Conversely, a country where inputs can be imported and goods and services can be exported within quick and reliable timeframes is a more attractive location for foreign firms seeking to invest.
To help governments improve their border procedures, reduce trade costs, boost trade flows and reap greater benefits from international trade, OECD has developed a set of Trade Facilitation Indicators (TFIs) that identify areas for action and enable the potential impact of reforms to be assessed. Estimates based on the indicators provide a basis for governments to prioritise trade facilitation actions and mobilise technical assistance and capacity-building efforts for developing countries in a more targeted way.
The OECD indicators cover the full spectrum of border procedures for 163 countries across income levels, geographical regions and development stages.
The TFIs take values from 0 to 2, where 2 represents the best performance that can be achieved. They are calculated on the basis of information in the TFIs database.