Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi welcomes new funds from Sweden that will be used to boost UNCTAD's technical assistance to developing countries which are implementing the Bali accord.
New financial support from the Government of Sweden to UNCTAD, worth SEK 2 million ($300,000), was announced on 2 July in the wake of the signing of the World Trade Organization's Trade Facilitation Agreement in Bali in 2013.
"We at UNCTAD greatly appreciate Sweden's support for our work in helping developing countries to implement the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation reached last year. The Bali accord was a key step forward, opening the way for a streamlining in cross-border trading," UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi said.
The new funds will allow UNCTAD to respond to requests for technical assistance it has received from countries lacking the institutional capacity to conclude categorization of commitments in the Bali agreement.
A particular emphasis will be put on assisting countries in most need to conclude the analysis of their trade facilitation needs and priorities, and subsequently notify their commitments to the WTO.
Ambassador Joakim Reiter, Sweden's Permanent Representative to the WTO, said: “This contribution represents an important additional injection to allow UNCTAD, in collaboration with other multilateral agencies, to respond to more urgent and imminent needs of low-income countries for capacity building in relation to the next steps of the Trade Facilitation Agreement of the WTO, as successfully agreed at the Ministerial Conference in Bali.
"It comes on top of Sweden’s significant, long standing financial and technical support for trade facilitation reforms, through UNCTAD, the WTO, the International Trade Centre (ITC), the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF), the World Bank and the World Customs Organization (WCO), as well as the Trade Policy Training Centre in Africa (trapca) and TradeMark East Africa, just to name a few key partners."
Sweden's donation will contribute to the multi-donor Trade Facilitation Trust Fund based at UNCTAD that provides technical assistance and capacity building to developing and least developed countries. Over the years, this fund has contributed to a wide range of national and regional training events and the preparation of numerous studies and technical material, as well as to field activities that have led to the development of 30 national trade facilitation implementation plans.
UNCTAD continues to collaborate closely with the WTO and the so-called Annex D Partners on trade facilitation implementation. These include the ITC, WCO, the World Bank, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and UN regional commissions, including the Economic Commission for Europe.