UNCTAD and other international organizations reaffirm support to developing economies for implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement

24 July 2014

​UNCTAD reaffirms commitment to support all developing countries, in particular African countries and least developed countries.

In a joint statement released on 22 July 2014, UNCTAD, together with the International Trade Centre (ITC); Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD); United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) representing United Nations Regional Commissions; World Bank Group (WB) and World Customs Organization (WCO) reaffirm their support in a comprehensive and coordinated manner to developing, transition and least developed economies in implementing the World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) - in close collaboration with the WTO and the donor community. The organizations support and encourage the WTO in sharing information on trade facilitation to respond to gaps in technical assistance and capacity building that WTO Members might identify.

Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General of UNCTAD said:

UNCTAD has a long standing experience of more than 40 years in the design and implementation of trade facilitation solutions in Developing Countries. A key example of this work is manifested in the benefits of a more effective and efficient trade monitoring administration, by means of the ASYCUDA Customs automation system which has helped many developing and least developed countries increase their revenues and ease licit trade while combatting fraud and illegal traffic of goods.

We are happy to reaffirm our commitment to support all developing countries, in particular African countries and least developed countries, in tackling the technical and institutional challenges resulting from the compliance with the disciplines of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement.

The joint statement, which was released at the WTO on 22 July 2014, recognizes the extensive potential benefits to developing economies from the TFA and at the same time responds to the clear needs of such economies for technical assistance, capacity building and support in implementing and securing long term benefits from the Agreement.

The organizations behind the statement consider that the coordinated approach will greatly assist developing countries to reap real and sustainable benefits from the Agreement as the TFA provides a unique opportunity to achieve deep and sustainable trade facilitation reforms that will have a long lasting and positive impact and will enable them to more fully participate in the global economy. As an additional benefit the collaborative approach is efficient and cost effective in the delivery of technical assistance.