Location : Ulaanbaatar, MONGOLIA
Application Deadline : 14-Sep-15
Additional Category Poverty Reduction
Type of Contract : Individual Contract
Post Level : International Consultant
Languages Required : English
Starting Date : (date when the selected candidate is expected to start)01-Oct-2015
Duration of Initial Contract : 2 months
Expected Duration of Assignment :2 months
Lack of territorial access to the sea and remoteness from major growth poles and markets often translate into high transport and transit costs for landlocked developing countries (LLDCs). As a result, the delivery costs of imports are higher, exports less competitive, and attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) more difficult. Thus, landlockedness hinders full participation in international trade and minimises comparative advantage. South Asian region has experienced rapid GDP growth over the past three decades, averaging nearly 6% per annum. However, benefits from international trade are diverse among nations. While coastal economies gain considerable benefits from international trade, landlocked countries are living in extreme poverty, lagging beyond economic development and being isolated from the world major markets the development of LLDCs is 20% lower than coastal economies. Challenges that are common to LLDCs cause impediments not only to social and economic development of Nepal, situated between the leading economies, China and India, but also to reach MDGs and ensure sustainable development. India has become the main trade partner for Nepal as a result of trade and transit trade agreement between the two countries and the trade with India form 60% of foreign trade of Nepal. Nepal faces deficit in foreign trade due to the big gap between export and import. Foreign trade of the country is formed by 85% of import and 15% of export.In addition to India, Nepal also trades with Bangladesh transiting through India, with China and third countries through the Indian seaports of Kolkata and Haldia and through airfreight. China has become one of the main trading partners of Nepal during recent years. Nepal exports products such as iron and steel, textiles, woolen carpets, garments, pashmina, tea, coffee and large cardamom to US, Germany, UK, France, Turkey, Canada, Bhutan and Italy and imports petroleum products, iron and steel, machinery and parts, transport vehicles and their parts, electronic and electrical equipment, pharmaceutical products, gold, telecommunication equipment and parts, crude soybean oil, polythene granules, and chemicals from UAE, Indonesia, Argentina, Thailand, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Japan and the US. Difficulties such as cumbersome procedures, rules and regulations related to trade, customs and transit transportation, inefficiency in logistics system, numerous testing laboratories and control agencies working under the state policy, and weak infrastructure development increase time and cost of import and export and as a result decreases gains from foreign trade substantially. Average GDP growth of the country has been around 3.8% until 2011 since the country became a member of WTO in 2004. Service sector of the country has been developing gradually and has formed 50% of GDP as of 2010 during the last years as the country has been pursuing a policy of developing value added service and production sector rather than agricultural sector that used to provide 73% of employment and 34.9% of GDP.
About transit trading
South Asian region’s economy forms 2.4% of world GDP. However, its share in global trade forms only 1.3%. South East Asian countries mainly trade with China rather than trading with each other. Intra-regional trade forms less than 5% of the region’s overall trade, which is the lowest rate in the world. Foreign trade of Nepal forms 47% of the country’s GDP. The main export products of the country are agricultural products of less value and finished garments. Since 2007 export of Nepal has been stagnant while import rate has increased by 50%. Nepal trades with China by road and with Bangladesh transiting through India. With other countries, the country trades using airfreight and transiting through Calcutta and Haldia ports of India. As for India, the country has a significant role for intensifying free trade in South Asia and South East Asia. The country acknowledges that increase of trade in the region is profitable for the country itself. As for landlocked countries, they are able to benefit from foreign trade at least by learning from their partners’ transferring and introducing technology and technical methods and they will have the opportunity of improving skills of labour and increasing employment among citizens.
During the last years trade between India and China has been increased. As of 2013 bilateral trade reached 49.5 billion USD. However, these countries trade mainly by sea because it is difficult to transit through Nepal due to its cumbersome customs procedures and weak infrastructure development. It would be time efficient for both India and China if they would trade using railways transiting through Nepal. Similarly, if Nepal would develop its infrastructure better and facilitate its transit trade regulations, it could possibly become a land linking country rather than a landlocked country and furthermore could increase its gains from international trade. Nepal has been pursuing a policy of updating and improving custom’s system, introducing efficient and expedited system, developing soft and hard infrastructure and building capacity of customs authority and other related agencies that grant export and import licenses. Within these objectives the country has been receiving technical and financial supports from international organisations during the last decade.
Duties and Responsibilities
Produce an analytical and policy paper assessing the trade relations between Nepal and India. Especially focusing on the fact that Nepal is using Indian ports to access the sea. Find out whether the India-Nepal example can be seen as a best practice for Mongolia. Based on the Indian and Nepalese experience, determine the opportunities and obstacles for Mongolia to benefit from its immediate neighbours, who are willing to facilitate sea access for Mongolia through their ports. Analyze respective agreements between India and Nepal and compare them with the newly signed agreements with China. Analyse the trade relations between Nepal and India as a case study, bilateral transit trade agreement between the countries, export and import channels of Nepal, legal and real situation in transit trade, logistics, port selection, port management and infrastructure situations in Nepal, as well as Indian Maritime Administration and capacity building of above mentioned issues without losing the sight for what can be taken to make it a best practice for Mongolia and what could be formulated as a good policy making suggestion towards Mongolian decision makers based on the good and less positive experiences of Nepal.Use comparative analysis methods on the possibilities for Mongolia to maximise its benefit from the bilateral transit agreements with its neighbouring countries, China and Russia.
Analyze how the use of Indian ports has affected the Nepalese economy and development in general and formulate useful policy making suggestions for Mongolia in the light of the newly signed agreements with China on use of Chinese ports.
- Strong proven capacity in research, data collection and analysis;
- Good facilitation and communication skills;
- Ability to plan, prioritize and deliver a variety of tasks on time;
- Ability to provide constructive coaching and feedback for others;
- Ability to liaise with a myriad of stakeholders and partners, including government, civil society, international organizations and grassroots organizations;
- Ability to plan for and produce quality results in meeting established goals;
- Excellent analytical and writing skills, with a proven ability to focus on practical outputs;
- Good relevant ability and skills on trade negotiations in trade facilitation agreements.
Required Skills and Experience
- Master’s Degree or equivalent in a relevant field of international law, social and political science, economy or international trade.
- Must have at least 10 years of work experience in the field of research;
- Good understanding of LLDC issues;
- It is preferred if the researcher has the experience of working in the areas of international trade, transit transportation, trade facilitation, international trade system, landlocked developing countries and WTO;
- It will be an added advantage if the researcher possesses vast experience of producing academic publication and his/her publications or research materials have been published internationally.
- Excellent English writing capability.