Our Work

Trade-Facilitating Agricultural Systems and Technology (T-FAST)

Approach

The program aims to maintain and strengthen Paraguay’s ownership and leadership of implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement by working through Paraguay’s National Trade Facilitation Committee—which includes both public and private sectors—and supporting the priorities it has identified. The program serves as the go-to technical resource to advance the committee’s capacity as Paraguay’s preeminent Trade Facilitation Agreement coordination body. The program takes a facilitative approach that builds technical and managerial capacities of public and private sector institutions to implement the Trade Facilitation Agreement. Before working with individual institutions, the program takes a systems approach that requires analyzing trade processes that involve multiple institutions with the aim of streamlining the overall process. The program is flexible to react to changing conditions and new developments in response to stakeholder needs that leverage momentum for reform.

This program establishes the structure for subsequent activities. It includes strengthening political will by tying Trade Facilitation Agreement priorities to broader government priorities, building the capacity of the National Trade Facilitation Committee to effectively develop the framework for policy and regulatory reform, and establishing the project steering committee.

The program build the technical and managerial capacity of select government institutions involved in the regulation and facilitation of trade in agricultural products. The technical assistance  designs and manages change at the institutional level for Trade Facilitation Agreement implementation.

The program builds technical and managerial capacity to enable associations to effectively advocate for trade-related reforms.

The program supports IT systems, lab equipment, and inspection-related infrastructure tied to the capacity building of government institutions.

Summary

The USDA Food for Progress Trade-Facilitating Agricultural Systems and Technology (T-FAST) program simplifies, modernizes, and harmonizes processes for the export, import, and transit of agricultural goods in Paraguay through implementation of the World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement. Implemented by IESC, the program will result in a 14-percent reduction in the cost of trade in agricultural goods, a 30-percent decrease in release time of agricultural goods, and improvements in predictability through transparency and automatization of processes—thereby reducing nontariff barriers to trade.

Just as importantly, the program strengthens and empowers Paraguay’s National Trade Facilitation Committee to lead an agenda for continual improvements in trade facilitation that will have a lasting impact well beyond the program term. The program focuses on implementing Paraguay’s Category C Notifications—where they intersect with trade in agricultural products—to implement both the letter and spirit of the Trade Facilitation Agreement. The program creates improved government processes and systems to increase the efficiency of trade flows for agricultural exports, imports, and goods in transit, civil servants who have the capacity to implement changes through a continuous learning cycle, and improved mechanisms for public-private sector engagement around trade facilitation.

Expected results

The goal is to expand regional and international trade in agricultural goods by:

  • Reducing the cost of trade in agricultural goods
  • Decreasing the release time of imported agricultural goods
  • Improving predictability of agricultural trade through increased transparency, streamlining processes, and automating where possible

Program details

Funder: U.S. Department of Agriculture Food for Progress Program

Project duration: 2019 to 2025

Award: $8.9 million

Partners: Center for International Private Enterprise, Kansas State University, and a variety of Paraguayan firms with relevant expertise, including in trade law and information and communication technology

This webpage is made possible by the support of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The contents of this page are the sole responsibility of IESC and do not necessarily reflect the views of USDA or the United States Government

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