Over the years we have been actively involved in the implementation, delivery or evaluation of a very wide range of trade facilitation projects. Dr Andrew Grainger is able to draw on extensive experience gained as Director at SITPRO, the UK’s former trade facilitation agency, educator and researcher at some of the world’s top universities … and of course as the Director at Trade Faciliation Consulting. Portfolio highlights include:
Trade Information Portals
In the period from 2006 until 2008 Andrew played a key role in the development and implementation of the UK’s International trade sections of the UK’s businesslike.gov.uk website. As domain expert he lent practical support and guidance to web developers and mangers about content, user requirements, functionality and testing. He was also instrumental in developing the business case for brining the UK customs tariff online.
More recently Andrew has also collaborated with others as Domain Expert in the implementation of Trade Information Portals in countries like Bangladesh and Vietnam. On a number of occasions he has also developed technical content and training materials for the websites of international organisations.
One of Andrew’s strengths is to work with stakeholders, establish user requirements, offer hand-on training, develop operating procedures, and raise awareness about the project benefits and its strategic significance. Often we are also involved in peer review, mentoring and project evaluation type activities.
Business Process Analysis and Diagnostic Studies
Most trade facilitation projects require a detailed understanding of existing procedures and practices. Arrangements between business operators as well as between government agencies can be complex. For a trade facilitation project to be successful of requires a detailed analysis of current practices, user needs and their project expectations. Occasionally, such research also has to be conducted on the back of formal training or workshops to help raise awareness of the opportunities that trade facilitation brings. These are all activities in which we have extensive experience.
Trade Facilitation strategy, action plans and policy documents
Often we are asked to assist in the draft of bespoke policy or white paper type documents. This includes national trade facilitation strategies and implementing plans – such as for Laos – as well all as trade facilitation measure specific documents on behalf of governments or private sector companies. We often also assist public and private sector organisations in articulating their respective trade facilitation needs, which is then often followed-up with the draft of subsequent literature and action plans.
By drawing on Andrew’s experience as Deputy Director at SITPRO (the UK’s former national trade facilitation agency) we are also very able at lending practical support (including mentoring) to National Trade Facilitation Agencies.
The evaluation of trade facilitation projects can be tricky and technically demanding. We have thus developed a practical framework that considers the needs, outcomes and impact expectations for all stakeholders in a given project. That framework has now been successfully tested and was also featured in the World Customs Organisation’s magazine WCO News.