The World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) provides a unique opportunity to promote inclusive growth by making cross-border trade easier, quicker and less costly for businesses of all sizes.
In ratifying the TFA countries will commit to a series of reforms to reduce red-tape at borders — from measures on the release and clearance of goods, through to enhanced cooperation between border agencies. It is estimated that full implementation of the TFA could reduce trade costs by an average of 14.3%.
A recent WTO study suggests that implementing TFA reforms could create around 20 million jobs — the vast majority in developing countries. The Agreement will help developing countries diversify their exports and tap into global value chains. More transparent and predictable border procedures will also make it easier for small- and medium-sized businesses to connect with customers in foreign markets for the first time.
THE GLOBAL ALLIANCE FOR TRADE FACILITATION
Recognizing that neither governments nor the private sector can deliver on the full potential of the TFA on their own, the World Economic Forum, the International Chamber of Commerce and the Center for International Private Enterprise together with the governments of Australia, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States have joined forces in the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation.
The Alliance partners have worked closely in establishing a unique public-private platform to leverage business expertise, leadership and resources to support effective trade facilitation reforms measured by real-world business metrics.
With the overarching aim of accelerating ambitious trade facilitation reforms, the core activities of the Alliance include:
Building understanding of the benefits of trade facilitation within both the public and private sectors;
Establishing sustainable multi-stakeholder dialogues on trade facilitation;
Mobilizing public-private partnerships to drive change, engaging local businesses and associations;
Technical and financial assistance in support of capacity building;
Benchmarking and evaluation based on established business metrics.
The Alliance supports efforts in developing countries and emerging economies on an annual rolling basis—while also working at global and regional levels to enhance stakeholder awareness of the importance of TFA and of the role of public-private cooperation in implementing customs and border reforms. To ensure synergy with the activities of other international programmes, the Alliance will actively engage with other international bodies, donors and associations.
With the full political endorsement of national governments, the Alliance’s in-country projects leverage the expertise and resources of leading companies and international organizations — and provide a platform for local business communities to identify trade bottlenecks and to work collaboratively with governments to support effective reforms. In the implementation of in-country programmes, the Alliance also benefits from the expertise and network of GIZ – the German government’s enterprise for international cooperation.
The Alliance’s work stream on building national and global level metrics seeks to provide a yardstick of country-level progress and create a competitive incentive for countries to implement trade facilitation reforms — making them more attractive for trade and investment and empowering their local business community.
Where is Global Alliance For Trade Facilitation