THE ninth World Trade Organisation,WTO, ministerial conference in Bali, Indonesia, on 3-6 December 2013, offers an opportunity to conclude a WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement that will deliver tangible economic benefits for developing and least-developed countries.
At meetings in Washington, WTO had the opportunity to discuss preparations for the Bali ministerial meeting, are encouraged by the renewed engagement by WTO members on trade facilitation and other issues of interest to developing countries, including least-developed countries.
WTO like to reiterate its strong collective commitment to support trade facilitation. A growing body of research points to the positive development impact of trade facilitation. Tackling inefficiency in clearing goods and shortening delays can reduce the cost of getting goods to market with positive effects on competitiveness and consumer welfare.
“Our institutions are engaged in a broad range of trade-related infrastructure projects. Since 2008, we have disbursed USD 22 billion in concessional support for economic infrastructure and building productive capacity in developing countries. With strong evidence that trade facilitation reforms help maximize the economic impact of our trade-related infrastructure assistance, our support to trade facilitation programmes has more than doubled since 2008.
“A WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement would add significant momentum to efforts to increase developing country competitiveness, and provide a multilateral framework to shape and guide trade facilitation efforts taking place at the regional and national level.”