One of the sessions held at the 2015 WTO Public Forum pre-launched the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation. The Alliance is a public-private partnership being established to support successful implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement.
The WTO Trade Facilitation (TF) Agreement is one of the key components of the Bali Package agreed to during the 9th WTO Ministerial Conference. The TF Agreement introduces requirements for countries to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency of their customs procedures. The anticipated benefits are a 10%-15% reduction in the costs of international trade. The Agreement also contains promises of technical assistance and capacity building for developed countries to help them to make the required investments associated with its implementation. The Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation provides a mechanism to deliver on these promises.
The Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation will provide the mechanism to: (1) Coordinate efforts to mobilize businesses; (2) Raise awareness among developing countries; and (3) Finance reform and capacity-building initiatives. The Alliance will operate as a partnership of governments, businesses, and NGOs aimed at making supply chains work better in the interests of development and growth:
Governments of Developed Countries– Canada, Germany, United Kingdom, and the United States have taken the lead in funding the Alliance through their development agencies.
Governments of developing countries are invited to partner with the Alliance to initiate and implement reforms. They are also being encouraged to ratify the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement by the official launch of the Alliance at the 10th WTO Ministerial in Nairobi, December 15-18 (2015).
Businesses – Private sector entities, such as UPS and Samsung, which are already participating in the Alliance, are needed to share their real-world experiences with the existing challenges they face. They can also provide technical expertise and resources to help implement solutions. Companies operating in developed countries are invited to join the Alliance to contribute their unique insights and skills. Ideally, there will also be a platform for small companies and SMEs to contribute by sharing the challenges they face and proposed solutions to meet their needs.
NGOs – The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), World Economic Forum, and the Center for Private Enterprise (CIPE/US Chamber of Commerce) are serving as the host organizations to grow the Alliance through its initial stages.
Learn more by listening to the audio of the session on the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation held at the 2015 WTO Public Forum.
The 2015 WTO Public Forum session was organized and moderated by the World Economic Forum. Panelists were:
- Fernando de Mateo, Permanent Representative of Mexico to the WTO
- Steven Pope, Vice President Customs & Regulatory Affairs, DHL Express
- Andreas Schaumayer, Deputy Head of Division, Trade Related Development Cooperation, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
- Matthew Wilson, Chief Advisor to the Executive Director, International Trade Centre
- Moderator: Sean Doherty, Head, Trade & Investment, World Economic Forum