In many emerging market countries, customs clearance delays lead to lost cargo and capital, hindering trade, as well as trade’s ability to power economic growth. Many emerging market countries still depend on paper-based customs processing systems, with myriad government entities operating physically together, but without clear procedures for cooperation. Traders lose time moving from window to window, waiting for signatures and approvals, with cargo delayed by days, and sometimes even lost or expired in transit.

The burden of these delays falls predominantly on smaller traders, who generally lack the expertise and resources to manage these situations. For governments, these systems weaken enforcement of critical controls and inhibit revenue collection.

Inspection and Control Services (ICS), an Agility Infrastructure company, knows the pain points of customs collection first-hand. To facilitate trade, ICS developed MicroClear®, a fully integrated end-to-end web-based Customs and Single Window Solution that simplifies customs clearance. Where needed, ICS supports MicroClear® implementation by collaborating across multiple government agencies to simplify tariff rules, rewrite business processes, and coordinate customs procedures, helping everyone to trade faster and more transparently.

When the MicroClear® solution was implemented in Kuwait in 2005, government revenue increased by 58% over 3 years, and continued to increase, while the average time for customs clearance dropped from an average of 21+ days to 120 hours. After implementation in Pakistan, average customs clearance time dropped from 3-4 days to less than 5 minutes for participating berths at the Port of Karachi.

MicroClear® projects have made a difference, and continue to do so in more than 10 countries, saving time and money for the public and private sector alike.

GCC Services sees its work in remote regions as an opportunity to influence a better way of doing business, including setting a high standard for human rights and labor standards of its suppliers, implementing good environmental practices, and training local employees.

As a provider of bulk food for the United Nations in Darfur, Sudan; Abyei, Sudan; and Cyprus, GCC Services sought to hire as many local employees as possible, providing needed income for families that had suffered through conflict.

As well, GCC Services is certified by Highfield Awarding Body for Compliance (HABC) in the UK to conduct, test and certify HACCP (food safety) training, and offers eight certified tutors. In the three locations where GCC Services provides food rations for the UN, 471 employees have been certified in HACCP, giving them a valuable certification that is applicable for other jobs in restaurants, hotels or food manufacturing. In addition to the certification, GCC Services employees are paid above market rate, receive medical benefits, vacation time and an indemnity when they leave, giving them de facto savings.

Trained employees have gone on to help prepare our three Darfur food warehouses for ISO 22000 certification. This is the first time such a massive training has taken place and ISO 220000 certification has been achieved at a remote conflict zone.

Gulf Catering Company (GCC Services) is an Agility infrastructure company specializing in remote site services, including camp catering, integrated facility management and camp construction services in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

National Aviation Services (NAS) is the fastest growing aviation services provider in emerging markets, offering a range of airport and air freight services across Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Wherever NAS builds new ground handling or cargo management infrastructure, implements digital airport systems, or builds and operates lounges, it trains local employees to a high international standard, offering employment opportunities and building local skills.

In 2018, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) recognized NAS Uganda, formerly Entebbe Handling Services Limited (ENHAS), as a Top Performing IATA Accredited Training School (ATS) in Africa and the Middle East. That year, the school trained 477 individuals, offering a range of aviation industry training programs for NAS employees, local and international aviation customers.

In Tanzania, NAS recently offered fresh grads a comprehensive internship program to help build awareness about the different types career alternatives available in the aviation industry, and encourage young people to join the private sector.

The company also has a Train-the-Trainer program, which gives promising employees the opportunity to travel to other cities as trainers, bringing new learning with them. NAS also offers opportunities for international employment, including past programs to recruit Rwandan and Ugandan employees from overseas to join the company operations in Kuwait.