TRANSPORT COSTS in the landlocked African states add up to about a fifth of the value of the goods, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad), and are four times the world average.
“Developing countries participate more intensely in world trade as merchandise exports have grown and south-south and intra-regional trade has expanded,” said the report carried by the Walvis Bay Corridor Group’s e-Corridor newsletter.
“Yet many developing countries still have insufficient access to world markets due to a lack of international connectivity and the cost of transport and logistics services. Whereas customs tariffs have decreased, international transport costs have actually risen in recent years, now surpassing the value of import duties on most exports from developing countries.”
The UNCTAD figures show that the international transport costs for imports of African landlocked countries account for an average of 20.7% of the value of imports, as compared to the world average of 5.1% and the average for African countries of 12.7%.
A study on Western and Central African countries estimated that trade between pairs of landlocked countries was 92% lower than would be expected if they were not landlocked - and having to cross a transit country reduces bilateral trade by 17%.
Landlocked countries pay a hefty penalty