Alliance tackles trade bottlenecks

THREE leading private-sector organisations have joined forces to launch a partnership to support effective implementation of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).

The Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation – hosted by the Center for International Private Enterprise, the International Chamber of Commerce and the World Economic Forum – will provide a unique platform to leverage business expertise and resources in the implementation of customs and border reforms.

While it is recognised that private-sector engagement will be critical for successful implementation of the TFA, the Alliance is the first initiative to provide a global platform to bring business closer to the process of enacting reforms under the agreement.

Richard Samans, head of the Centre for the Global Agenda at the World Economic Forum says the private sector can play a vital role in directing trade facilitation reforms to the areas of greatest impact.

The Alliance will support TFA-related projects in 12 to 15 developing countries on an annual rolling basis – identifying trade bottlenecks and working with governments to implement reforms to enable trade for local enterprises. It will also work to remedy the limited private-sector awareness of the TFA in some sectors and markets.

Andrew Wilson, deputy director of the Center for International Private Enterprise, said: “At the country level, the Alliance will focus on empowering the local business community to become a leading stakeholder in trade facilitation efforts. This will ensure that reforms get implemented and have commercially meaningful outcomes.”

The Alliance is being supported by the Canadian, German, UK and US governments, and a broad range of leading multinational companies have committed to working with the Alliance.