Panellists discuss digital evolution of trade facilitation and supply chain sustainability

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On 27 June 2024, the OECD and TFAF with support from the World Bank and China organised a panel discussion on Supporting digitalisation for trade facilitation during the AidForTrade Global Review.

As digital transformation becomes a greater priority for all Members, the panellists discussed the discussed the importance of digitalisation for trade facilitation and greening global supply chains. Through the use of digital technologies, governments can realise more significant trade facilitation results. They also allow business to comply with sustainability regulations for their supply chains. Many governments and business invest into digitalisation. The problem is that each Member has to find its own path and address their specific challenges including with regards to infrastructure, skills, and regulations. Successful digitalisation for trade facilitation requires collaboration between Members on standards, as provided for in the TFA, and the harmonisation of regulatory frameworks To ensure that one-one is left behind, the AidforTrade Initiative needs to support digitalisation for trade facilitation in LDC Members that continue to lack behind in the implementation of the TFA articles that relate to digitalisation. Good digitalisation works by communicating the benefits and by collaborating. Private sector, in particular SMEs, need to be integrated into digitalisation efforts alongside customs and other government agencies to design solutions that meet their requirements.

The session was moderated by Ms Marion Janson, Trade and Agriculture Directorate of the OECD. The panellists were H.E. Clare Kelly Ambassador of New Zealand to the WTO, Mr. Thabo Martin Moleko, Principal Secretary – Ministry of Trade, Industry and Business Development, Lesotho, Mr. SHI Jiange, Director Trade Rules Division, Department of International Cooperation, General Administration of China Customs, and Ms. Maria Teresa Pisani, Chief ad interim, Trade Facilitation Section, UNECE.