Trade Facilitation Innovation Days 2022

Trade Facilitation Innovation Days 2022
20 - 21 September 2022
09:00-18:00 (CET)
Geneva and online
, Switzerland

Urgent need for innovative solutions
sparks novel Trade Facilitation event

Reimagining trade – breaking down the silos

Almost 700 participants in over 100 countries participated in Trade Facilitation Innovation Days 2022, an inaugural two-day online event aimed at reinvigorating and reimagining ways of streamlining cross-border trade  

This joint initiative of the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation and UNCTAD, held on September 20 and 21, provided a platform for the cross-fertilisation of ideas from trade facilitation experts, government officials, border agents, logisticians, academics, and other specialists.

The event enabled an interactive, solution-based, approach to tackling some of the unresolved lingering challenges still being faced by the trading community in many parts of the world. Topics such as new technologies, special trade regimes, environmental impacts, risk mitigation, e-commerce and measuring the success of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement were tackled in a unique way through the involvement of the full community to crowd source ideas using new techniques.  

Based on this year’s success, the organisers have already committed to staging the event for a second time in 2023. In the meantime, plans are being built to establish a network from among this year’s participants to continue refining and testing the ideas generated in the various sessions using innovation techniques widely used in many other industries. 

The organisers are also encouraging those participants involved in all aspects of international trade to make practical use of the suggestions articulated during the event, which provided fertile ground for ideas. 

“Innovation does not happen in a vacuum; we need to establish an environment for it to blossom. We also need to listen to as many voices as possible, especially those of the people on the ground,’’ said Philippe Isler, Director of the Alliance. “Many of the ideas raised during the event might not actually materialise, while a few might make a real difference. But we need to have the courage to try new methods of working.” 

“Trade facilitation is now at the core of global crises and yet innovation is still a relatively new concept in implementing trade facilitation,” said Celine Bacrot, Economist – Trade logistics, Trade policy, Regional Integration, UNCTAD. “People are waiting for governments and the business community to react, but we can’t afford to lose any time – we have to work quickly and together to find the necessary solutions.’’ 

The dates for Trade Facilitation Innovation Days 2023 will be announced shortly. 




Accelerating solutions to trade facilitation challenges

Innovation is shaping every aspect of our lives, driving change in every society, sector, industry and link of global supply chains.

In the current global climate of geopolitical uncertainty, logistics disruptions and monetary inflation, it is more urgent than ever to work together to find solutions to trade barriers, for the benefit of companies, consumers and countries.

Trade that is simple, fast, and cost-effective can enable businesses of all sizes to access the markets they need to grow. It can drive inclusive economic growth by creating jobs and investment opportunities everywhere.

Reimagining trade: Breaking down silos

The first-ever Trade Facilitation Innovation Days will spark imaginative and practical ideas to streamline cross-border processes by bringing together a broad range of people with various expertise to put their minds together towards the common goal of making commerce easier and less costly.

The online public event presents an opportunity for trade facilitation experts, government officials, border agents, logistics professionals, academics and other specialists to reimagine trade together.

Digital technologies such as cloud architecture, mobile apps and artificial intelligence are transforming other aspects of global business. How could such innovations be used to overcome the costly bottlenecks hindering trade?

Join us in solving tough trade challenges.

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The Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation

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Transport, logistics and trade facilitation Transport, logistics and trade facilitation



Celine Bacrot
Trade Facilitation Section of UNCTAD