Trade facilitation and trade potential of countries along the Belt and Road

KONG Qingfeng1 DONG Hongwei1

(1.School of Economics, Shandong University)

【Abstract】The Belt and Road Initiative is an important part of the Chinese opening-up strategy in the new era. This paper constructs a trade facilitation index system to estimate the trade facilitation levels of 69 Asian and European countries along the Belt and Road. An extended gravity model is further employed to test the impact of trade facilitation on trade among countries along the route, which proves that the impact of trade facilitation is more significant than that of regional economic organizations, GDP, reduction of tariffs and some other factors. The study on trade potential suggests that the trade potential between Asian and European countries along the Belt and Road is enormous, while the enhancement in trade facilitation can further expand the trade potential, and the trade potential between regions is greater than that among the countries within a region. This paper argues that for the construction of the Belt and Road, importance should be attached to the cooperation and innovations in trade facilitation, and a diversified cooperation mechanism should be established, all in an effort to achieve the interconnection and common prosperity across Eurasia.

【Keywords】 the Belt and Road; trade facilitation; trade potential; gravity model;


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    [1]. ① Larry Summers, “The US May Have Lost Its Role as the World’s Economic Leader,” Financial Times, March 15, 2015. [^Back]

    [2]. ② The Trade Facilitation Agreement is part of the Bali package reached at the Ninth Ministerial Conference of the WTO. On December 27, 2014, the WTO General Council adopted the protocol related to the implementation of the agreement. According to the initial provisions of the agreement, the agreement will become effective once two-thirds of the members approve the relevant protocols before July 31, 2015. The main part of the agreement provides for the substantive obligations of the members in trade facilitation. [^Back]


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This Article


CN: 11-1692/F

Vol , No. 12, Pages 158-168

December 2015


Article Outline


  • Introduction
  • 1 Construction of the trade facilitation indicator system and its measurement
  • 2 Empirical analysis of the trade flow of the countries along the Belt and Road and study on its potential
  • 3 Conclusions and suggestions
  • Footnote