The benefits of the TFA to strengthen global supply chains highlighted at WTO event on shipping costs

Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Deputy Director-General Anabel González

The constraints due to recent spikes in shipping costs was the focus of intensive discussions on 10 November. In this information session WTO delegates, academics and private sector representatives shared information on constraints in importing and exporting goods due to current shipping disruptions and exchanged views on measures to mitigate the impact of those disruptions.

Implementing trade facilitation measures, accelerating automation and digitalization, and embracing market opening in transport and logistics services were among the elements cited as helpful. Underlining the benefits of the Trade Facilitation Agreement, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade of Mauritius, Alan Ganoo, called for “streamlining, modernizing and digitalizing trade procedures, reducing physical contact between workers in the shipping industry, while at the same time keeping ships moving and ports open”. He also called for finding creative approaches, such as cross-national cooperation among countries and transport service providers.

The WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala called on governments and businesses to “continue identifying supply chain bottlenecks and implementing measures to mitigate their impact on trade" and to work towards "making global supply chains more resilient”.

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The video of the event can be found here:  WTO | COVID-19 and rising shipping rates: What are the factors in play and what can be done?