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Bahrain ratifies Trade Facilitation Agreement
The Kingdom of Bahrain has become the 93rd member of the WTO to ratify the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). Bahrain’s WTO Ambassador Yusuf Abdulkarim Mohammed Bucheeri submitted his country’s instrument of acceptance to WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo on 23 September.
The TFA will enter into force once two-thirds of Members have domestically ratified a Protocol of Amendment and notified the WTO of their acceptance of this Protocol. With the acceptance by Senegal and Uruguay, the number of TFA ratifications now stands at 92.
The TFA has a huge potential to reduce trade costs thereby boosting trade between countries and raising world income. OECD studies find that the implementation of the TFA could reduce worldwide trade costs between 12.5% and 17.5%. Developing country exports are expected to grow between 14% and 22% while becoming more diversified. Companies are more likely to become more profitable which should encourage domestic investment. In addition, foreign direct investment is likely to be attracted to countries that fully implement the TFA. Finally, increased trade means better employment prospects for workers and greater revenue collection by the government.