A8.1 Computer literacy
A8.1.1 What is the level of computer literacy in the trading community in your country as a whole to support electronic transactions?
Computer literacy is the knowledge and ability to use computers and related technology including internet efficiently. It can also refer to the comfort level someone has with using computer programs and applications. To utilize electronic transactions for paperless trade, the trading community in the country should possess working level knowledge of computer literacy in understanding how computers work and operate. In this context, computer literacy of the trading community can be measured through questionnaires or practical assessment to test their ability to write and modify text, trouble-shoot minor computer operating issues, and use software applications related to paperless or single window systems. The trading community should have a good level of comfort to utilize paperless systems within the country for their trade transactions.
Low or None (0-19%)
To increase their computer literacy, computer users should distinguish which computer skills they want to improve, and learn to be more purposeful and accurate in their use of these skills. By learning more about computer literacy, users can discover more computer functions that are worth using. The Internet offers great potential for effective and widespread dissemination of knowledge and for the integration of technological advances. Improvements in computer literacy and training for the trading community should increase their levels of comfort in using electronic systems for trade transactions.
Reference and Case Studies
- How to Improve Computer Literacy, https://learn.org/articles/How_Can_I_Improve_My_Computer_Literacy.html
- Trade Facilitation and Paperless Trade, https://www.unescap.org/our-work/trade-investment-innovation/trade-facilitation/about
A8.1.2 Are they ready to accept changes arising from reengineered business processes in implementing paperless trade systems?
The barriers for traders to better adoption of paperless trade systems is normally due to the lack of proper knowledge, education and skills among owners, managers and employees within the trading community. It is, therefore, important that the country should assess the level of readiness of the trade community related to knowledge and acceptance on changes arising from reengineered business processes in implementing and using paperless trade systems.
The second aspect of human behaviour in general, and traders in particular, shows resistance to change even if it is for their betterment. Therefore, traders engagement during the conceptualisation, development and implementation of the reengineered process is also an important element of the success factor.
Lack of understanding, low skills and resistance to change, especially among SMEs are normally the major critical barriers in adopting paperless trade systems in a country. Therefore, capacity building and skills upgrading programme is necessary to reduce these barriers.
References and Case Studies
- Barriers to ICT adoption in SMEs: how to bridge the digital divide?, https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/13287260810897738/full/html
- Customs Capacity Building Strategy, http://www.wcoomd.org/en/topics/capacity-building/overview/~/media/3C486A00F972488DB85F687EA0F551FB.ashx
- UNNExT Capacity-building Workshop: Single Window Project Planning and Implementation, https://www.unece.org/tradewelcome/outreach-and-support-for-trade-facilitation/global-trade-facilitation-conference/unnext-capacity-building-workshop.html
- Trade Facilitation for Sustainable Development Workshop, https://www.unescap.org/events/escap-artnet-itd-trade-facilitation-sustainable-development-workshop-2019
- E-Learning Series on Business Process Analysis for Trade Facilitation, https://www.unescap.org/our-work/trade-investment-innovation/trade-facilitation/bpa-course
- UNNExT Capacity Building Workshop on Data Harmonization and Modelling for Single Window Environment, https://www.unescap.org/events/unnext-capacity-building-workshop-data-harmonization-and-modelling-single-window-environment
A8.2 Does your country encounter budget constraints in implementing paperless trade systems?
In many cases, budget constraints in implementing paperless trade systems impede the country to gain potential benefits of a better trade facilitation environment. Recognizing the different context within each country, there could be several different reasons for these budget constraints. The country should consider establishing a future plan and targeted timeline to overcome these financial constraints.
A development plan and its cost/benefit analysis on the paperless trade initiative should be conducted such that value propositions and cost estimation for this initiative could be analyzed.
Business investment and financial models could also be developed so that the high-level policy decision makers could select the best options for the country. Several schemes could be deployed to accommodate these financial constraints, for example, phasing development, public/private partnership, and concession.
Participation in the Framework Agreement on Facilitation of Cross-border Paperless Trade in Asia and the Pacific can also be helpful in addressing the financial constraints.
References and Case Studies
- Financial and business model analysis for Single Window, https://www.unescap.org/sites/default/files/9%20-%205.%20Financial%20and%20business%20model%20analysis.pdf
- Case Examples: Public-Private Partnership for Paperless Trade, http://www.tradeforum.org/Case-Study-Public-Private-Partnerships-for-Integrated-Customs-Services-in-Ghana/
- The Framework Agreement on Facilitation of Cross-border Paperless Trade in Asia and the Pacific, https://www.unescap.org/resources/framework-agreement-facilitation-cross-border-paperless-trade-asia-and-pacific