WTO Report: Trade Facilitation Agreement Increased Commerce By over $230 Billion

Oluchi Chibuzor

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) has led to a $231 billion increase in trade, particularly in agriculture.

Disclosing this in a statement yesterday, the WTO stated

developing members and least-developed country (LDC) members that have made commitments under the landmark agreement posted the most gains, with the estimates suggesting so.

At the meeting, the Committee also considered notifications from members regarding TFA measures, presentations of national experiences and suggestions to enhance trade facilitation implementation, and specific concerns on customs procedures.

Interestingly, the estimates further pointed to a 16-22 per cent increase in agricultural trade between developing members that had made TFA commitments.

The statement read in part: “Stronger increases for manufacturing trade may still be detected after more years of TFA implementation for developing members as well.

“The latest estimates are part of the Secretariat’s ongoing work tracking the impact of the TFA. The TFA, which entered into force on 22 February 2017, contains provisions for expediting the movement, release and clearance of goods, including goods in transit.

“It also sets out measures for effective cooperation between customs and other appropriate authorities on trade facilitation and customs compliance issues. It further contains provisions for technical assistance and capacity building in this area.

“The TFA is the first WTO agreement in which developing members and LDC members can determine their own implementation schedules and seek to acquire implementation capacity through the provision of related assistance and support. Developed members were required to implement all provisions of the TFA from its entry into force.

“As of 22 March 2023, notifications submitted by WTO members indicate that they have committed to implement 76.1 percent of TFA obligations.”

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