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European Union (EU)
The EU and its Member States are the world’s leading providers of trade facilitation support. Over the five-year period 2008-2012 (latest available figures), the EU and its Member States collectively provided a total of over EUR 700 million for Trade Facilitation, which corresponds to more than 50% of the total support over the period. The EU alone provided EUR 428 million or 31% of the total support. This support will continue with the EU aiming to maintain its current level of support to trade facilitation over a five-year period starting from the signature of the Trade Facilitation Agreement, namely EUR 400 million over five years.
Support will be provided in the framework of the EU's regular Trade-Related Assistance to developing countries. The EU is currently finalising the allocation of its development aid for the period 2014-2020, and time is therefore ripe for developing countries to reflect their trade needs, including for trade facilitation, into the annual action plans for EU aid as defined in their on-going discussions with the European Union Delegations in their respective countries. The ministries or agencies responsible for Trade Facilitation might in some cases not be a direct participant in these discussions and therefore it is important for countries which require TF support to coordinate internally to ensure wide awareness of the need to prioritise TF. National TF committees could have a key role in such coordination.
At the same time, the EU recognises the value of a dedicated trade facilitation facility, and has therefore made an initial contribution of EUR 9.6 million to the World Bank Trade Facilitation Support Programme. This facility will provide smaller-scale interventions in order to deliver initial fast-track funding, cover aid orphans and fill-in any gaps in on-going or planned support to trade facilitation.