Trade facilitation and Central American integration: Customs modernization
The development of trade facilitation and regional integration is closely linked to the efficiency of public services and the competitiveness of the companies that support export activity. The importance of trade facilitation measures has been emphasized in various issues of the FAL Bulletin. On this occasion the subject is be discussed from the point of view of regional integration, and a case in Central America is considered of particular interest. El Salvador and Guatemala, by integrating their electronic systems for obtaining export licenses, have been able to reduce waiting times significantly. In Guatemala, in December 2000, there was a waiting time of 24 hours, whereas in November 2004 the procedure took 1.5 minutes via the Internet. This issue of the Bulletin is based on research into electronic government initiatives related to foreign trade, which is being conducted by the International Trade and Integration Division.