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Full and swift implementation of the TFA can deliver large trade dividends to developing and least-developed countries
Implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) has the potential to increase global merchandise exports by up to $1 trillion per annum, according to the WTO’s flagship World Trade Report released on 26 October 2015 in Geneva – the first detailed study of the potential impacts of the TFA based on a full analysis of the final agreement text. Significantly, the Report also found that developing countries will benefit significantly from the TFA, capturing more than half of the available gains.
Director-General Roberto Azevêdo, in marking the launch of the report, said:
“The world is more connected than ever before. More and more developing countries are seeking to join global trade networks. Yet, all too often, outdated and uncoordinated customs processes slow down the movement of goods and raise costs to prohibitive levels. By standardizing, streamlining and speeding-up customs processes around the world, the WTO's Trade Facilitation Agreement will help to solve this problem. It is global trade's equivalent of the shift from dial-up internet access to broadband — and it will have a similar impact.
“This report takes a rigorous, detailed look at the impact of the Trade Facilitation Agreement. It provides new evidence of the significant boost that the Agreement will provide by expanding world trade, reducing costs and helping developing and least-developed countries to integrate into an increasingly globalized production system. The report also highlights previously unseen benefits for developing and least-developed countries, such as increased investment and economic diversification.
“This underlines the importance of implementing the agreement in full — and doing so as quickly as possible. In fact, the report shows that the benefits of the agreement will be substantially larger depending on the scope and pace of implementation. The more extensive and faster the implementation of the TFA, the greater the gains.”