Sunday, October 13, 2013

Multilateral Institutions reiretate to support trade facilitation

The multilateral institutions reiterated their support trade facilitation.
Issuing a joint statement today at the annual meetings of the World Bank and IMF, over half a dozen multilateral institutions – including African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Investment Bank, Inter, American Development Bank, International Monetary Fund, and World Bank Group – said that they would like to reiterate their strong collective commitment to support trade facilitation.
“The ninth WTO Ministerial Conference in Bali, Indonesia on December 3-6 offers an opportunity to conclude a WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement that will deliver tangible economic benefits for developing and least-developed countries,” they said, urging WTO members to seize the opportunity.
“At our meetings here in Washington we had the opportunity to discuss preparations for the Bali Ministerial meeting and we are encouraged by the renewed engagement by WTO members on trade facilitation and other issues of interest to developing countries, including least-developed countries.”
A growing body of research points to the positive development impact of trade facilitation, they claimed. “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, according to them. Since 2008, they have disbursed $22 billion in concessional support for economic infrastructure and building productive capacity in developing countries. “With strong evidence that trade facilitation reforms help maximise 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.
Earlier in July, together with more than 20 other organisations and governments, they stated their strong commitment to support developing countries, and in particular least-developed countries, in the full and effective implementation of a WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement.
“We recognise that concerns persist in the negotiations about access to and coherence of assistance,” they claimed. “We will work with the WTO and its members to help ensure that the new commitments that a trade facilitation agreement would bring are supported and will also work to ensure that our support for the implementation of commitments is coordinated with our support for complementary infrastructure development.”
They have also recognised that they would need to discuss further how to ensure a coordinated and effective response to requests for support from developing countries, and in particular least-developed countries to implement a WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement.

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