The most frequent result of inefficiencies in international trade is delay, which can be critical. Heavy investment in logistical systems is wasted if goods sit idle waiting for the right piece of paper or information. Ports may spend money on new physical facilities if the existing ones are congested, when to change practice to cut delays would have more far-reaching effect.
Payments get delayed. Research in the UK indicates that over 50% of documents lodged in respect of documentary credits contained errors which delayed settlement by at least 2 weeks, with the result that exporters lost Â£70 million per year. Research has indicated a similar situation in other countries.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.