It is that time of the year… again !

12 December 2017

Written by Arántzazu SánchezArticle No. 14 [UNCTAD Transport and Trade Facilitation Newsletter N°76 - Fourth Quarter 2017]

December is here and with it, this inevitable tendency to look back at the year we are leaving behind. At the end of the year, we like to make a balance of what the last 12 months brought to us, what we did achieve but also those things that never did it to the top of our to-do list.

Too often, we are just so busy that we do not manage to grant us the time to do this exercise of stopping and evaluating. But it is really worth it.

For more than 40 years, UNCTAD has been supporting National Trade Facilitation Committees around the world. This is one of the main pillars of our work in Trade Facilitation.

This year has been especially fruitful and significant in this field.

The year started with the organization of the first International Forum for National Trade Facilitation Committees, which took place in January in Geneva and gathered 300 representatives from 70 different countries. One month later, the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement entered into force, earmarking the 22 February 2017 in the history of trade facilitation.

The infographic illustrates some of the results achieved in the past two years.

Almost 40 NTFC training sessions were organized in 15 countries in the framework of five different projects financed by GIZ, Her Majesty Revenue and Customs, the European Union, TradeMark East Africa and USAID.

Four countries - Benin, Ghana, Nigeria and Sudan - completed UNCTAD Empowerment Programme for National Trade Facilitation Committees. As a result, they launched a Trade Facilitation Roadmap which includes a vision, goals and activities to guide the country's trade facilitation efforts in the upcoming years.

Download Infographic

Our activities reached over 1400 trade facilitation stakeholders (a third of them were women).

A total of 92% of beneficiaries affirm that the programme has helped them improve their knowledge on trade facilitation and 82% of them feel now in a better position to assume their roles as members of their National Trade Facilitation Committee.

These are very encouraging results that will certainly be a source of inspiration for our work in 2018!

For further information, please contact Arántzazu Sánchez (

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