10 January 2022
Gender equality is central to the World Bank Group's (WBG) twin goals of ending extreme poverty and increasing shared prosperity in a sustainable manner. Gender inequality can cause economies to be less competitive internationally particularly for countries with export potential in industries that have high women employment. 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 can 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 two 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 three provides a description of the survey sample and the methodology used to carry out the survey. Section four presents the findings of the trade facilitation and gender survey, including analysis of cross-border trade challenges by gender. Section five concludes with recommendations based on survey response.
access to finance international trade freight forwarding trade in services transport equipment manufactured goods export of goods state-owned enterprise gender and education cross-border trade trade costs fragile and conflict-affected situations freight forwarder labor force participation rate customs broker impact of climate change number of women survey results lack of awareness collected data survey respondent engine of growth firm level share of woman domestic economic activity global supply chain agreement on trade increased income central business district cost of doing business lack of gender data gaps participation of woman import good proportion of woman challenges for woman family care country survey electronic payment system types of firms export product import product woman trader trade facilitation measures fewer women goods in transit clearance of good cross-border traders delays at border global trading system central bank of samoa public health provision precious stone