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Meeting of the Global Facilitation Partnership for Transportation and Trade (GFP)

22 April 2015

Room XXII, Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland

 

The Meeting of the Global Facilitation Partnership for Transportation and Trade (GFP) organized by UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), in collaboration with UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and International Trade Centre (ITC) on 22 April 2015. The event brought together representatives of the private sector, WTO Member States and international organizations to discuss how best this implementation process can be supported and coordinated by the above parties and to maximize its benefits.  In particular, participants discussed how the private sector can contribute to and support the implementation of the Agreement.

Background

The World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) was adopted in December 2013 at the 9th WTO Ministerial in Bali, Indonesia. The Protocol of Amendment was subsequently adopted in November 2014. The TFA creates binding obligations for WTO members to conduct trade facilitation reforms by making trade processes more transparent and efficient in cooperation with border regulatory agencies and private sector. The Agreement also includes provisions for technical assistance and capacity building to support its implementation in developing and least developed countries (LDCs).

Developing countries and LDCs are currently in the process of self-designating, on individual basis, all measures of the agreement within one of the three following categories: provisions that will be implemented upon entry into force of the TFA (Category A), measures requiring a transition period prior their implementation (Category B), and measures for which implementation needs both a transition period and external technical and financial assistance for implementation (Category C).

The key international organizations have pledged to work together to support countries in this process and to assist in providing the necessary technical assistance, along with other players, for implementing Category C measures as described above. The private sector, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as a key implementation partner and significant potential beneficiary, must also play an important role in supporting countries in these processes. 

Sessions

  • WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement: An Overview and Update
  • Governments’ Priorities including Strategies for Fostering Private Sector Participation in the TFA Implementation Process
  • Priorities, Perspectives, and Expectations from the Private Sector on TFA Implementation
  • International Organizations’ Coordination and Partnership for Supporting TFA Implementation

Participants

Private sector representatives from large corporations and SMEs; national government representatives, officials of international organizations and other relevant organizations and experts in Trade Facilitation.

Interpretation

Simultaneous interpretation was provided in English, French and Russian.

 

 

09:00 - 10:00 REGISTRATION
10:00 - 11:00 OPENING SESSION: WTO TRADE FACILITATION AGREEMENT: AN OVERVIEW AND UPDATE

Opening Remarks: Virginia Cram-Martos, UNECE

Speakers:

Moderator: Selina Jackson, The World Bank
11:00 – 13:00 SESSION 1: GOVERNMENTS’ PRIORITIES INCLUDING STRATEGIES FOR FOSTERING PRIVATE SECTOR PARTICIPATION IN THE TFA IMPLEMENTATION PROCESS

Speakers: Moderator: Tom Butterly, UNECE
13:00 – 15:00 LUNCH BREAK
15:00 - 16:00
SESSION 2: PRIORITIES, PERSPECTIVES, AND EXPECTATIONS FROM THE PRIVATE SECTOR ON TFA IMPLEMENTATION
Speakers: Moderator: Matthew Wilson, ITC
16:00 – 16:15 SIGNING OF MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING AMONG UNECE, UNCTAD AND ITC BY HEADS OF RESPECTIVE ORGANIZATIONS
16:15 – 17:30 SESSION 3: INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS’ COORDINATION AND PARTNERSHIP FOR SUPPORTING TFA IMPLEMENTATION
Speakers: Moderator: Jan Hoffmann, UNCTAD
17:30 – 18:00 CONCLUDING SESSION: CONCLUDING STATEMENT OF THE MEETING
18:15 – 19:30 ITC – WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM “ENABLING TRADE” RECEPTION RESTAURANT DES DÉLÉGUÉS, BUILDING A, 8TH FLOOR, PALAIS DES NATIONS

 

For further information and questions, please contact:

Mr. Khan Salehin
tel.: +41-22-9173227
email: khan.salehin@unece.org

Mrs. Aruna Vivekanantham
tel.: +41-22-917 5175
email: aruna.vivekanantham@unece.org