WCO and International Trade Centre conclude MOU for implementation of the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation

17 June 2014

Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya of the World Customs Organization (WCO) and Executive Director Arancha González of the International Trade Centre (ITC) concluded a Memorandum of Understanding at the ITC headquarters on 16 June 2014 to support full implementation of the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation (ATF).

The implementation of the ATF will contribute to promote Customs modernization, reduce time and cost for border crossings, and enhance export competitiveness of the private sector including small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), which will support economic growth and alleviation of poverty. ITC works to increase the competitiveness of SMEs and improves the business environment for trade.

Ms. González said that the ITC will help countries to remove international trade supply chain barriers in order to facilitate cross border transactions and improve the competitiveness of the private sector.

Mr. Mikuriya underlined the WCO’s vision ‘leading modernization and connectivity’ which will help to bridge the gap between Customs and business communities and said that the WCO has developed the Economic Competitiveness Package to assist Customs administrations to contribute to enhancing national competitiveness.

The WCO and ITC will develop greater synergy on trade facilitation by jointly providing technical assistance and capacity building to Customs administrations as well as the private sector, in particular SMEs, recognizing the importance of strategic planning.

Mr. Mikuriya and Ms. González agreed to explore the concrete projects to support full implementation of the ATF based on the MOU. The MOU also facilitates Customs and business partnerships and contributes to economic growth, social protection and stability.