United Arab Emirates ratifies Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA)
The United Arab Emirates has become the first WTO Member from the Arab region to ratify the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). The UAE deposited its instrument of acceptance with the WTO Secretariat on 18 April.
During a ceremony organized at WTO headquarters, Ambassador Obaid Salem Al Zaabi, Permanent Representative of the UAE to the WTO, and Abdelsalam M. Al Ali, Director of the UAE Office to the WTO in Geneva, were welcomed by Director-General Roberto Azevêdo.
In a statement, the UAE said it “has taken the lead to ratify the TFA out of its firm belief that such an agreement, once fully implemented, will boost global trade by expediting the movement, release and clearance of goods, including goods in transit.”
DG Azevêdo saluted the UAE’s ratification of the Agreement: “The TFA will play an important role in enhancing growth and development in the UAE and around the world,” he said. “I am delighted to receive this ratification today. I hope that it will inspire others in the region to accelerate their ratification processes.”
During a brief visit to the Middle East in early March, DG Azevêdo underscored that the TFA can have a big impact in reducing the time and cost of moving goods across borders, and supporting economic diversification in the region.
Implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement has the potential to increase global merchandise exports by up to $1 trillion per annum, according to the WTO’s flagship World Trade Report 2015. The Report also found that developing countries will benefit significantly from the TFA, capturing more than half of the available gains.