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Trade Facilitation Implementation Support Seminar

The WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility held a seminar for WTO Members on the assistance available for the implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement on 4 March at the WTO in Geneva.

Donor Members, Annex D+ international organizations and representatives of the private sector met with WTO Members to outline what support they have made available to help governments implement trade facilitation reforms and to report on their experiences to date in providing assistance (some presentations are available at the bottom of this page).  

Representatives from the United Kingdom, the EU, Canada, Sweden and Japan highlighted the trade facilitation implementation support they were currently providing.   Sweden's WTO Ambassador Daniel Blockert said there were lots of programmes in place and lots of funds available to assist developing countries and LDCs with implementation.  The challenge for potential recipients is to track down the programmes, he said, which underscored the importance of national focal points.

Bill Gain, Global Program Manager with the World Bank, noted that the Bank's support for trade facilitation-related projects increased from US$ 322 million in 2004 to US$ 7 billion in 2015.  Fifty countries have already requested assistance under the Bank's Trade Facilitation Support Program (TFSP), which assists developing countries in reforming and aligning their trade facilitation laws, procedures, processes and systems to enable implementation of the TFA.

Several speakers highlighted the importance of existing initiatives such as TradeMark East Africa, which has been credited with substantially reducing the costs and time for overland shipping in the region, as well as new initiatives such as the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation, a public-private platform that seeks to use private sector expertise and resources to support trade facilitation reforms.

Emphasis was also placed on the role of the WTO's Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility (TFAF) to support the ultimate goal of full implementation of the Agreement by all Members.

The seminar also included a "trade fair" where participants picked up brochures and asked questions to the various donors and organizations.

 

Session 1:  Presentations 

Time

Member

Speaker

10:00 – 10:10

 

Welcome

10:10 – 10:20

UK

Sacha Silva, Senior Trade for Development Policy Advisor, Permanent Mission of the United Kingdom

10:20 – 10:30

EU

Guy Platton, DG DEVCO, Policy Officer, Trade & Private Sector Support

10:30 – 10:40

Canada

Katrina Ellis Cannon, Second Secretary, Permanent Mission of Canada

10:40 – 10:50

Sweden

Daniel Blockert, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Sweden

10:50 – 11:00

Japan

Yuichi Okumura, First Secretary, Permanent Mission of Japan

11:00 – 11:30

Questions & Answers

 

Session II:  Presentations

Time

Organisation

Speaker

11:30 – 11:40

IRU

William Petty, Head – Regional Committee for Africa

International Road Transport Union

11:40 – 11:50

GEA

Carlos Grau Tanner, Director-General, Global Express Association

11:50 – 12:00

USAID

Gib Brown, USAID Development Advisor, U.S. Mission to the UN/Geneva 

12:00 – 12:10

EIF

Jonathan Werner, Country Coordinator, EIF Executive Secretariat

12:10 – 12:20

World Bank

Bill Gain, Senior Private Sector Development Specialist

12:20 – 12:30

OECD

Evdokia Moise, Senior Trade Policy Analyst

12:30 – 13:00

Questions & Answers

 

Session III:  Presentations

Time

Organisation

Speaker

15:00 – 15:10

WCO

Brenda Mundia, Deputy Director, Capacity Building Directorate

15:10 – 15:20

UNIDO

Otto Loesener, Industrial Development Officer, Standards and Trade Facilitation Division

15:20 – 15:30

UNCTAD

Jan Hoffmann, Chief, Trade Facilitation Section

15:30 – 15:40

ITC

Mohammad SAEED, Senior Adviser, Trade Facilitation and Policy for Business

15:40 – 15:50

UNECE

Virginia Cram-Martos, Director, Economic Cooperation and Trade Division

15:50 – 16:30

Questions & Answers

 

Session IV:  Trade Fair – CR Lobby

16:30 - 17:15