Improving connectivity in the Maghreb: Trade and Transport linkages
Advisory Services Document
Responsible CC (e.g. OPCDR)
Requesting CC (e.g. OPCDR)
Completion Fiscal Year
Reimbursable Advisory Services
What is the development objective that this activity is seeking to achieve? What are the expected intermediate outcomes?
This activity will target trade and transport facilitation measures focusing on the performance and processes of key government agencies, including customs. The issues to be addressed include cross-border coordination, transparency and information, internal processes, reduction of fraud, and regulations.
The project targets Morocco (and initially targeted Tunisia as well), and is to be implemented with the support of the "Deauville" Transition Fund as two parallel projects (one for Morocco, and a later one for Tunisia). The components of the projects are designed based on the proposals of “Maghreb: Trade Facilitation and Infrastructure” report prepared by the World Bank and other development partners in 2012 and updated in 2014.
Morocco has confirmed submission of the proposal to the Transition Fund Steering Committee. Tunisia has postponed its submission for another round of the Transition Fund, given its commitment to previous projects in the pipeline. This delay does not affect the Moroccan component.
Choose at least one intermediate outcome and at least one indicator from the list below that reflects the development objective and is expected to be achieved by the completion of the activity.
Development financing informed
Preparation of new operation informed, Mobilization of non-Bank resources informed
Government policy/strategy informed, Contributed to stakeholder involvement
Client capacity increased
Implementation capacity strengthened
Innovative approaches & solutions generated
New innovative approach developed
Risks to Achieve Objective
Please rate and describe the principal risks to achieve the development objective within the time period envisaged and how they can be mitigated. Does the team seek any specific guidance?
Risk 1: Cross-country coordination of recipient entities as well as affected agencies in neighboring countries. The participation of Algeria on its own funding is important.
The project will mitigate the risk by relying on strong engagement with partners inside the project countries as well as external partners (EU, World Customs Organization). French customs has been the main actor of the cross-country coordination through the quadripartite meeting, where Algeria has been an active partner.
Furthermore international coordination is relevant only to a minority amount of the project, about 20% of the activity are in full or part dependent on it.
Risk 2: Internal coordination between agencies. Internal coordination between agencies involved in processing or clearing international trade is typically an implementation issues with trade facilitation projects
Mitigation: The current segmentation of activities limit the overlap of responsibilities and the need for activity level coordination. In Morocco the project team will coordinate with relevant implementing agencies, so as to identify areas of complementarities.
Please describe the primary audience to be reached. Are there any secondary or indirect audiences? If yes, please explain.
This project consists primarily of advisory services to government agencies in Morocco and Tunisia involved in trade facilitation such as customs.
Dissemination / Outreach Strategy
Describe the dissemination strategy and other outreach activities to engage the principal audience.
(e.g.: Will the product be: made available in the local language? made available on a website? discussed with senior policy-makers? presented at a workshop, conference, seminar or on-line discussion? covered in the general or specialized media?)
This activity is primarily TA supporting several agencies including Customs and Tax, Ministry of Transport and port agencies. The components involve external partners to guide the project such as the World Customs Organization, or partners interested in the outputs such as the Union for the Mediterranean, and other development banks.
As this is a TA with several components there will not be a single report to be disseminated but a series of outputs to be discussed, on a consultative basis, with stakeholders (typically private and development partners) on an ad hoc basis to be set up with the agencies involved in the project. For instance the sectoral components are expected to lead to legal and regulatory proposals in Morocco to which the private sector will be associated, as part of existing consultative processes already set up by the agencies involved.
Cross-country outputs such as the customs data connectivity component will be examined within international events organized by the partners such as the UfM, the French government or the WCO.
At least two outputs of the projects are expected to produce innovation replicable in future Bank work: i) customs data interchange (multi-country) , ii) Big data risk management (Morocco). Those experiences will be documented and disseminated within the Bank (technical note, BBL, contribution to events on trade, customs or logistics) by the team.
French will be the main language for the project material. Key documents will be translated in English and if needed Arabic.
Is translation of some or all of the activity planned?
Has the client asked for this activity?
Has the client agreed to the concept/scope/design?
Will the client be substantially involved in carrying out the activity?
Will the client help finance the activity?
The activities are executed by the Bank (or OECD for the third component) with agencies, which have been long time Bank partners. The request and design of the activities come primarily from the agency or the dialogue with the Bank in Morocco. In Tunisia the team played a stronger role in designing the activities, given weaker capacity with the main client (customs in Tunisia), which is going through difficult times.
Activity and Client Contact Information
Activity title (Edit if needed to make the title recognizable to any clients identified below.)
Improving connectivity in the Maghreb: Trade and Transport linkages
Direction du Trésor Externe
Include in Client Feedback Survey?
If the activity title provided above (just under the "Activity and Client Contact Information" bar) would be recognized by this client, please leave blank. Otherwise, provide an activity/output title recognizable to this client.
Are other partners doing similar activities? If yes,have you ensured this activity is not duplicative and/or has value-added?
No other development agencies are involved beyond the OECD, which is responsible for the execution of component 3 related to taxation.
At a more general level, other organizations, beyond the World Bank, have been involved in the promotion of the agenda of trade&transport facilitation and cross-border logistics, including the Union for the Mediterranean and the EIB. The EIB is promoting the Logismed and Transtrak programs to develop logistics facilities.
Are there one or more partners who are either funding this activity or contributing expertise?
Is this a joint work with IFC?
Does the activity support (select all that apply):
Why is this activity type (ESW or TA) being used to address the objective? Is it linked to other Bank activities or tasks? Explain
Regional integration has long been identified as one of the solutions to challenges posed by the ongoing transformation in the Maghreb countries as it fosters sustainable and inclusive economic growth. Yet the Maghreb has not yet achieved regional economic integration, especially when it comes to trade integration. There is little facilitation of regional trade. Intra-regional trade between Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia accounts for only 3 percent of their total trade.
A 2012 World Bank analysis on trade flows and trade costs in the Maghreb found that the primary explanation for the relative small regional flows in the Maghreb are high intra-regional trade costs between pairs of countries due to trade facilitation bottlenecks, which are even higher for regional trade than for trade with the EU. This project promotes measures, for most of them identified in these previous analytical undertaking. These measures are for some of them to be implemented through cross cooperation (e.g. data exchange, or border crossing), and for several of them to be implemented through parallel capacity enhancement, whether in the same project or not.
The Transition Fund is an appropriate vehicle for financing as trade has been identified as one of the three pillars of the Deauville Partnership, which the MENA Transition Fund aims to address. The current proposal targets only Morocco. The parallel project for Tunisia will be submitted at a later date.
The project complements the following current Bank engagements in the region:
• Economic Competitiveness Support Program (Development Policy Loan), supporting policy reform in trade logistics, economic governance, trade policy and investment climate
• Morocco Urban Logistics, a TA project with the objectives to (1) strengthen the knowledge capacity of the Moroccan Agency for the Development of Logistics and identify priority areas in Urban Logistics; (2) developing a roadmap for urban logistics in Morocco with a focus on the Casablanca area; (3) developing a toolkit for Urban Logistics, geared to developing regions
• Morocco Education for Arab Youth Employment in the Logistics sector, a technical assistance project with the objectives of improving the employability of Moroccan youth through the design and implementation of a labor market information system that improves access to information for youth, government, private sector and education providers in the logistics sector, allowing for greater decision making power.
The Bank is involved in policy dialog with Tunisia (Customs), which will make possible setting the regional data exchange component of the project, even if the implementation of the parallel project in Tunisia is delayed. (Tunisian customs confirmed their interest and their technical readiness was checked). The main vector is the Third Export Development Project, with a focus on reducing delays in goods processing, increasing customs efficiency, transparency and governance by improving the risk management system, reshaping the control policy and reducing human intervention in customs activities
The proposed intervention is in line with both national/domestic strategies for Morocco and regional integration strategies for Morocco, Tunisia and UMA countries in general. Given the importance of enhancing regional trade integration for the Maghreb, Morocco and the other countries in the Maghreb committed to a comprehensive plan to boost lagging regional trade during an inter-ministerial meeting in 2012. Part of this plan includes the harmonization of customs procedures and the cross border expansion of logistics and transport services. The agreement, which came at the conclusion of a ministerial workshop on trade facilitation, seeks to obtain efficiency gains for local producers, and the creation of a regional market of more than 90 million consumers.
Summary Task Description
Provide a brief description of the activity and briefly outline key issues expected to be addressed to meet the Development Objective.
The objective of the project will be achieved through three connectivity components: customs, sector improvements, and taxation (executed by OECD).
Component 1: Customs connectivity
The first component aims at improving information exchange, reducing non-tariff measures and facilitating transit on regional corridors. The project will also reinforce domestic capacities in making trade more efficient while limiting fraud and informality.
Activity 1.1 Connected customs: Technical assistance support to the implementation of regional data exchange in a network that would include Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, France and Spain. Beyond IT issues, this project involves legal aspects or relationships with the private sector. The TA will support implementation with a strong impetus by Morocco, France and WCO.
Activity 1.2 Border crossings and corridors: Improvement of vehicle tracing (ADII)
The ADII plans to set up an automated management system for temporary admission of passenger vehicles, which will allow considerable reductions in customs delay on regional corridors (EU and Mauritania borders so far). World Bank will provide technical assistance to design and implement a virtual platform that is linked to ADII’s IT system.
Activity 1.3 Information, control and risk. This will help speed up trade while fighting fraud with innovative solutions.
1.3.1 Customs Mobility (ADII): ADII is designing a mobile customs project that will allow customs agents to interact in real time. World Bank will support ADII in (i) preparing a feasibility study on relevant mobile applications, (ii) development of mobile applications on tablets that will be acquired by ADII, (iii) training of customs agents and IT technicians.
1.3.2 Big Data and risk management (ADII): develop a screening tool for risky behaviors of users requested by ADII. WB proposes an R&D project implemented in partnership with Big Data labs. This would develop an “open source” tool replicable in other countries in the region and beyond.
Component 2: Facilitating trade and investment through upgrading the institutional and regulatory environment for businesses
The focus is to improve the specific regulatory framework of sectors critical to regional connectivity or integration in international value chains, such as logistics.
Activity 2.1 Upgrading the legal and regulatory environment for the logistics sector (AMDL): regulatory needs assessment for the logistics sector, drafting of a legal and regulatory package, and support to implementation.
Activity 2.2 Maximizing the impact of the maritime complex Nador West Med on jobs and opportunities: evaluation study of how to maximize the socio-economic impact of Nador West Med, and investments in the Oriental region. This activity involve expert assessment, structured public private dialogue, and identification of priority sectors and reforms needed.
Activity 2.3 Improving the competitiveness of businesses and trade in Casablanca
The World Bank has assisted establishing the “Comité National de l’Environnement des Affaires” (CNEA), facilitating investment climate reforms, with a similar a similar committee (CREA) at local level in Casablanca. The project will i) support the CREA in establishing a structured and well-functioning public private dialogue (PPD) ii)provide expertise to support in view of simplifying and increasing the transparency of key procedures, iii) help setting up of IT tools for managing standardized licenses, and iv) training of stakeholders. This activity will coordinate with the work on taxation, executed by the OECD (component 3 below).
Activity 2.4 Trade Portal (PortNet): assistance to PortNet in the implementation of a trade information portal, where one can obtain all the information on requirements needed to undertake international trade.
Component 3: Fiscal connectivity, effective tax systems and improved transparency
This component will be implemented by the OECD, and has been reviewed by this organization.
Note: Please make sure the budget includes estimated cost of dissemination/communication of final output as described in Objectives Section. Only include direct costs in this 'Budget and Funding' section.