About the Editors

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Luc De Wulf, a Belgian national, joined the Fiscal Affairs Department of the International Monetary Fund in 1972 and later worked on China in the Asia Department before moving to the World Bank in 1988, where he worked in the Africa Region and the Middle East Region. He retired from the Bank in 1999.

Initially, De Wulf's interest in the taxation of foreign trade was driven by the important revenue contribution of taxes in many developing countries. Recently he has worked intensively as a consultant on trade and development issues, particularly in Mauritania and Senegal. During the course of this work, he increasingly recognized that trade liberalization, with its emphasis on improving market access and lowering both tariff and nontariff trade barriers, would not fulfill its promises of growth and poverty alleviation without significant strengthening of trade facilitation. In the area of trade facilitation, customs is a key agency that in a number of countries fails to reduce the cost of trade sufficiently, and its potential contribution to trade facilitation is frequently not fully realized. Hence, this publication emphasizes increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of customs operations.

José B. Sokol, a Panamanian national, joined the World Bank in 1977 following a career as a senior government...

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