The main outcome of the 9th WTO Ministerial Conference in Bali in December is the Trade Facilitation Agreement which, once implemented, will provide significant benefits to economic operators around the world and will boost global economic growth.
The agreement aims at making importing and exporting more efficient and less costly by increasing transparency and improving customs procedures. Economically, reducing global trade costs by 1% would increase world-wide income more than USD 40 billion, 65% of which would accrue to developing countries. It is expected that gains from the Trade Facilitation agreement would be distributed among all countries and regions, with the biggest benefits being accrued by developing landlocked countries.
The EU remains committed to grant continued and targeted technical assistance to support the implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement in developing countries.
The Trade Facilitation Agreement is meant to be formally adopted by WTO Members by 31 July 2014. It will then be opened for acceptance until 31 July 2015.
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