Pacific Region Trade Facilitation Challenges for Women Traders and Freight Forwarders: Survey Findings and Recommendations


Countries in the Pacific Islands region face unique development challenges: they are physically detached from major markets, tend to have high levels of gender inequality, and confront the worst impacts of climate change, making them some of the most vulnerable countries to natural disasters in the world. These challenges increase trade costs and make it difficult for the Pacific Island countries to trade effectively and competitively. To overcome the challenges of size and isolation, trade capacity could be increased for countries to effectively integrate into the global trading system and thus improve their economic opportunities. One way to do this is through the implementation of trade facilitation measures that lower time and costs to trade.

This report compares the findings of surveys across five countries in the region of Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Timor-Leste and Vanuatu. Some of the key findings and trends on the trade facilitation challenges faced by surveyed traders at the firm level in the region are covered in this report. Section 2 of this report explains why a study on women cross-border traders at the firm level, particularly as it relates to trade facilitation, is useful. Section 3 provides a description of the survey sample and the methodology used to carry out the survey. Section 4 presents the findings of the trade facilitation and gender survey, including analysis of cross-border trade challenges by gender. Section 5 concludes with recommendations based on survey response.