Trade Facilitation Agreement will reduce transaction costs: WTO Chief
The Dollar Business Bureau The Bali Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) will make the movement of goods across borders faster, easier and cheaper. It is estimated that this Agreement will reduce trade costs by up to 15% in developing countries. The above statement was made by World Trade Organisation (WTO) Director-General (DG) Roberto Azevêdo, at an information sharing session in Kuala Lumpur recently. Thanking Malaysia for agreeing to deposit its instrument of acceptance of the Trade Facilitation Agreement in the coming days, and hoping that Malaysia can help other members ratify the agreement as soon as possible, the DG urged Malaysia, as ASEAN chair, to continue to show leadership in advancing other WTO initiatives this year, including moving the Doha Development Agenda forward and expanding the Information Technology Agreement. Speaking more on the TFA, the DG said that the Agreement could deliver an annual boost to the global economy of up to $1 trillion per year, creating 21 million jobs worldwide. So it’s a major agreement. And, for the first time in the WTO’s history, there will be practical help with implementation for developing countries. The Agreement states that assistance and support must be granted to help developing countries achieve the capacity to implement its provisions, the DG added. This means a boost in the technical assistance that is available to develop customs infrastructure where this is most needed, the DG said and added, “And we have set up a new initiative — the Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility — to ensure that LDCs and developing countries get the help they need to develop projects and access the necessary funds to achieve this.” The challenge now is ratification. Two-thirds of WTO members must ratify the Agreement for it to come into force. Some members have already done so — but we need to accelerate the process, the DG concluded.
May 22, 2015 | 7:47 pm IST.