A panel co-hosted by the World Bank and the Heritage Foundation discuss Connecting to Compete 2014: Trade Logistics in the Global Economy, a report based on the Bank’s most recent Logistics Performance Index (LPI), which compares countries’ logistics performance and helps identify weaknesses. The LPI measures the on-the-ground efficiency of trade supply chains, or logistics performance. This year’s edition covers 160 countries.
Supply chains are the backbone of international trade and commerce. Their logistics encompasses freight transportation, warehousing, border clearance, payment systems, and increasingly many other functions outsourced by producers and merchants to dedicated service
The importance of good logistics performance for economic growth, diversification, and poverty reduction is now firmly established. Although logistics is performed mainly by private operators, it has become a public policy concern of national governments and regional and international organizations. Supply chains are a complex sequence of coordinated activities.
The performance of the whole depends on such government interventions as infrastructure, logistics services provision, cross-border compliance and trade facilitation.
The World Bank has produced the LPI about every two years since 2007. This year’s survey finds that the gap between the countries that perform best and worst in trade logistics is still quite large, despite a slow convergence since the report’s inception. This gap persists because of the complexity of logistics-related reforms and investment in developing countries, and despite the almost universal recognition that poor supply-chain efficiency is the main barrier to trade integration in the modern world.
Speakers at this event include: Jean-Francois Arvis, Senior Transport Economist, World Bank Group; Norm Schenk, Vice President, Global Customs Policy and Public Affairs, UPS; Brian Bieron, Director of Government Relations, eBay; and Bryan Riley, Senior Policy Analyst in Trade Policy, The Heritage Foundation.