WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement: a welcome boost for the World Economy. EuroCommerce is very pleased that the number of ratifications needed for the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation (TFA) to enter into force was reached today. This is first multilateral deal concluded and to come into force since the WTO Doha Round in 2001.
By simplifying and harmonising customs procedures worldwide, the TFA is estimated by the WTO as boosting global trade by up to 1 trillion Euro annually. This is a bigger impact on the world economy than the elimination of all existing tariffs worldwide.
EuroCommerce considers the entry into force of the TFA today a great step forward for companies and citizens in all WTO member countries. The Agreement will massively benefit European wholesalers and retailers, who depend on global value chains. It is also a good day for developing countries, whose exports will be able to pass customs more quickly and cheaply, making trade work for economic growth and social wellbeing.
It is more important than ever that the international trade rule book keeps pace with a rapidly changing business environment. The TFA is critically important to this process, reducing the cost and time of moving goods across national borders.
EuroCommerce has pushed for conclusion of the Trade Facilitation Agreement throughout the negotiations, from the very start of the negotiations in 2003, right up to 2013 when the deal was sealed in Bali. It has led several alliances of trade and industry associations worldwide, urging all WTO member states to act quickly to reach agreement. Its entry into force today demonstrates that working for a good and sensible target can deliver important results, even if sometimes a lot of patience is required.