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Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-06) Twining Ward, Louise ; McComb, Jessie F.COVID-19 (coronavirus) is affecting nearly 47.7 million travel and tourism jobs across South Asia, many held by women and vulnerable communities working in the informal sector. Losses of over 50 billion US dollars in gross domestic product in the region are expected in the travel and tourism sector alone as a result of the crisis. Governments are already responding with emergency programs to help small and medium enterprises stay afloat and save jobs. As the South Asia region moves from crisis to recovery planning, governments and destinations have an opportunity to think strategically about the future of their tourism sectors and implement policies that will improve the industry. This regional brief is designed to raise awareness of the importance of tourism to the region and to the World Bank's regional portfolio, highlight some measures being taken by governments and the Bank to address the crisis, and provide recommendations for short- and medium-term sustainable regional recovery, including through greater intraregional tourism. The brief covers Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Afghanistan was excluded due to a lack of data.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-12) Huria, AnkurThe objective of this note is to identify the key issues in trade facilitation and logistics that affect the e-commerce landscape, with a focus on cross border (trade facilitation) domestic delivery (logistics); highlight key challenges and opportunities, particularly for developing countries and small and medium enterprises (SMEs); and provide a roadmap for potential areas of World Bank (WB) support in that landscape. This work has broadly covered areas such as customs and border management; information and communications technology for trade; logistics services, including competition issues; and trade-related infrastructure (ports, inland ports, airports, and so on). This note identifies the various issues and challenges relating to e-commerce from a facilitation and logistics point of view and identifies potential solutions, particularly those in which the WBG can play a role in helping developing countries. The note draws from a wide array of developments and literature and from work done by the WBG more generally in trade facilitation and logistics in assisting countries to improve their trade environment. The note explores the required building blocks for facilitating cross-border e-commerce as to address the challenges raised and consist of: (a) improvement programs for creating a more conducive legal environment for automation; (b) improving automation and interconnectivity between agencies; (c) implementing simplified procedures to trade, including for e-commerce; and (d) implementing fully the World Trade Organizations (WTO’s) trade facilitation agreement. The note concludes with the summation that e-commerce offers new challenges and opportunities for governments and firms, but to maximize its benefits requires significant reform. This note has set out a path for countries to continuing the reform and modernization route with recommendations and an action matrix of specific improvements to the trade facilitation and logistics environment that will better position countries and firms to take advantage of the enormous potential that cross border e-commerce offers.