Reaping Benefits through Trade Facilitation: Ministerial panel discusses policies to bolster competitiveness, improve governance and enhance regional integration

22 December 2015

A high-level panel on trade facilitation discussed opportunities and challenges for developing countries associated with the implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement.

The panel was part of the UNCTAD@MC10 series of side events carried out jointly with the Government of Kenya that took place from 15-17 December 2015 in Nairobi, back-to-back to the 10th WTO Ministerial conference.

The round-table discussion examined the policies that are necessary for developing countries to reap the full development benefits from trade facilitation reforms.

A key message that came out of the discussions was that the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement represents an opportunity for developing countries to enhance trade competitiveness, modernization of the public sector, and regional integration.

The panel was moderated by Christian Doepgen, Publishing Director and Editor-in-Chief of the International Transport Journal (ITJ)


  • Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General, UNCTAD

  • Engr Khurram Dastgir Khan, Federal Minister for Commerce, Pakistan

  • Amelia Kyambadde, Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Uganda

  • Arancha Gonzalez, Executive Director, International Trade Centre (ITC)

  • Frank Matsaert, Chief Executive Officer, TradeMark East Africa (TMEA)

  • Chris Welsh, Secretary-General, Global Shippers' Forum (GSF)

  • Erastus Mwencha, Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission

quoteTrade Facilitation implementation is good for trade. It is particularly relevant for the participation of developing countries in global value chains, trade in manufactured goods, and regional integration.

Small and medium enterprises, and perishable and intermediate goods sectors in least developed and landlocked developing countries may benefit particularly from reduced transaction costs and times.

Unlike large multinational corporations - who often have their own resources to develop solutions to their operational bottlenecks all over the world - SMEs depend on solutions provided by their public administrations.quote

Mukhisa Kituyi
Secretary-General of UNCTAD

Participants at the Ministerial roundtable entitled: Reaping Benefits through Trade Facilitation