About trade facilitation

According to research, over 90% of the world economy is driven by micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and micro-multinationals. With the growth of e-commerce and new media technologies, these small enterprises are increasingly becoming an engine of economic development and therefore employment creation, poverty reduction, innovation, and social inclusion.

Most often in developing countries, international trade remains inaccessible to MSMEs, in particular those located in rural or remote areas. Many MSMEs are still facing significant barriers in trading across borders, where they record very low sales compared to the opportunities offered by international markets. However, the postal infrastructure offers three great attributes to MSMEs to surmount these challenges: capillarity (widespread geographic reach), affordability, and simplicity (ease of use).

A number of South American countries, using a model first pioneered by Brazil, have managed to successfully implement an easy-export programme known as Exporta Fácil that have spurred economic development and social inclusion of MSMEs. Some of these countries have been able to witness significant export growth, employment creation, and poverty reduction following the implementation of the project.

Through trade facilitation, designated operators support government objectives for economic and social development and inclusion, while at the same time position themselves as the trusted intermediary for MSMEs internationalization.

The UPU's role

As an intergovernmental organization and a United Nations specialized agency, the UPU is the principal forum for cooperation between governments, designated operators, and other sector-wide stakeholders. As trade facilitation concerns many segments of the postal network and supply chain – physical services, financial services, electronic services, customs, airlines, and security – the UPU provides a legal, regulatory, and technical framework to support the development of MSMEs through the postal infrastructure.

The UPU sets the global postal strategy, regulations, and standards, and provides technical assistance to member countries where needed to ensure a truly single postal territory in all dimensions of the postal service.