GFC2017 ConExpo Newsletter

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April 2018

WTO passes historic trillion-dollar trade facilitation pact


“This would boost global trade by up to US$1tn each year, with the biggest gains being felt in the poorest countries. The impact will be bigger than the elimination of all existing tariffs around the world,” says WTO director-general Roberto Azevêdo, who hailed it as the WTO’s greatest achievement.

“Entry into force of the TFA sends a strong signal that countries remain committed to making trade work for all. The agreement represents an enormous opportunity for countries to boost trade-led growth and development and the alliance looks forward to working with the public and private sectors to ensure it is ambitiously implemented – maximising its potential benefit to local economies,” says Philippe Isler, director of the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation, a coalition of pro-trade lobby groups.

“This has been built up for almost two decades. It has been slow. But at the same time we have something that is substantial, that tackles the things that need to be tackled. Instead of something like CETA, which is very flimsy and not SME-friendly. It doesn’t solve any of the issues and deals with things that are very controversial,” Miguel Galdiz, research and advocacy officer for the Fair Economy Alliance, tells GTR.

He adds: “[For SMEs], the bilateral agenda is not the way forward. They want access to information, they want border procedures to be streamlined. They want all the things the TFA is meant to do. You want to be able to avoid this funnel vision of bilateral agreements, diverting trade towards specific partners. You want to open the multilateral doors.”

These excerpts were from the recent GLOBAL TRADE REPORT.

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