Cross-border paperless trade, or cross-border trade digitalization, refers to international trade taking place on the basis of electronic data and documents. It has great potential to boost trade competitiveness and support effective engagement in the digital economy. Implementation of paperless trade measures could reduce international trade costs in the region by 25%, saving the Asia-Pacific region $600 billion annually, according to the recent study by ESCAP.

Implementation of cross-border paperless trade is challenging and cannot be achieved without close and sustained collaboration between countries, including through the Framework Agreement on Facilitation of Cross-border Paperless Trade in Asia and the Pacific.

In line with its mandate to support trade facilitation and promote cross-border paperless trade under the Framework Agreement, ESCAP has created a Cross-border paperless Trade (CBPT) Database, as included in the Draft road map for the implementation of the substantive provisions in the Framework Agreement on Facilitation of Cross-border Paperless Trade in Asia and the Pacific.

The CBPT database aims to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and expertise gained from previous and on-going projects and services on cross-border trade digitalization. The content of the database depends on the information and inputs provided by project and service owners – or experts involved in the project. Individuals are welcome to register and submit information through Form. All information will be verified by the ESCAP Secretariat before being included in the database.

The CBPT database enables users to search for information on a particular project or service on cross-border trade digitalization. For each particular project or service, the database provides detailed information, collected from experts and project managers, including focus and objectives, architecture and functionalities, challenges, benefits, and other aspects. Users can also browse projects/services by categories including trade procedures; regions and countries; and legal and implementation instruments used. The database also identifies legal and implementation instruments supporting different projects/services. Users can also search and browse separately and exclusively for relevant (1) legal instruments; and (2) implementation instruments.

For any inquiries on CBPT DB, please contact Soo Hyun Kim, Trade, Investment and Innovation Division, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (kim51@un.org).