Close cooperation with the transit countries is a sine qua non for improved connectivity in transport, energy, and information and communications technology. Infrastructure, trade and regulatory policies, together with political stability of neighbouring countries, have significant repercussions for the external trade of landlocked developing countries. The costs of reaching international markets for landlocked developing countries do not depend only on their geography, policies, infrastructure and administration procedures, but also on those of neighbouring countries. Thus, regional integration and coherent and harmonized regional policies provide an opportunity to improve transit transport connectivity and ensure greater intraregional trade, common regulatory policies, border agency cooperation and harmonized customs procedures to expand regional markets.
There is a need to promote meaningful regional integration to encompass cooperation among countries in a broader range of areas than just trade and trade facilitation, to include investment, research and development, and policies aimed at accelerating regional industrial development and regional connectivity. This approach is aimed at fostering structural change and economic growth in landlocked developing countries as a goal, and also as a means of collectively linking regions to global markets. This would enhance competitiveness and help to maximize benefits from globalization. Documentation of and the sharing and dissemination of best practices is important to allow cooperating partners to benefit from each other’s experience.
Actions by landlocked developing countries include:
(a) To promote regional integration by strengthening regional trade, transport, communication and energy networks;
(b) To promote harmonization of regional policies so as to strengthen regional synergy, competitiveness and regional value chains;
(c) To strengthen participation of landlocked developing countries in bilateral and regional integration frameworks.
Actions by transit developing countries include to contribute to deepening regional integration through the coherent development of regional infrastructure, trade facilitation measures and regional trade agreements, including the establishment of effective and efficient customs guarantee systems to help landlocked developing countries overcome constraints resulting from their landlockedness.
Actions by development partners include:
(a) To support efforts made by landlocked developing countries and their transit partners to deepen regional integration, through the development and implementation of key regional transport projects and regional transport agreements for facilitating the cross-border movement of goods and passengers;
(b) To support ongoing regional integration processes involving landlocked developing countries;
(c) To share best practices in promoting regional integration.