Stronger partnerships with the private sector for successful implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (Meeting of the Global Facilitation Partnership for Transportation and Trade)

24 abril 2015

Geneva, 22 April 2015

Focusing on the role of the private sector in supporting the implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, participants of the meeting of the Global Facilitation Partnership for Trade and Transport (GFP) supported global efforts towards implementation of the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) and called on all stakeholders to participate fully in trade facilitation policy reforms, for the benefit of all countries.

The meeting which was attended by around 100 participants from the private sector, WTO Member States and international organizations, was co-organized by the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the International Trade Centre (ITC), in collaboration with a number of core GFP partners including the World Customs Organization (WCO), the World Bank, the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

Participants agreed on the need for stronger partnerships with the private sector for successful implementation of the TFA, and on the importance of establishing National Committees on trade facilitation, as a means of ensuring regular consultation with the private sector representatives for collecting their views and identifying legislative gaps or bottlenecks that need to be addressed in implementing trade facilitation reforms.

The ICC as one of the long-standing partners of the WCO especially in the area of trade facilitation stressed the significant benefits of TFA implementation, especially in terms of increasing economic competitiveness of countries, urging Members to ratify the Protocol of Amendment and speed up the coming into force of the TFA. The ICC also called on WTO Members to use the already available instruments and tools of the WCO to implement the TFA and welcomed the Mercator programme that pulls together the necessary guidance for a unified approach to implementation.

The WCO stressed the importance of collaboration and cooperation amongst all relevant stakeholders for achieving full benefits of TFA implementation. The WCO strongly supports cooperation with the private sector, as one of the key beneficiaries of trade facilitation reforms and as being uniquely positioned to assess the level of their successfulness. The WCO has recently developed a Customs-Business Partnership Guidance to support its Members in developing cooperative arrangements with the business at national level. It also advocates strong partnership with the private sector at international level and has a long-standing Private Sector Consultative Group, as a global advisory body to the WCO.