Geneva, Oct 26 (IANS) Full implementation of the trade facilitation agreement (TFA) reached in December 2013 could increase global merchandise exports by up to $1 trillion annually, the World Trade Organization (WTO) said in a report on Monday.
The overall boost to world export growth per annum has been estimated at up to 2.7 percent due to the TFA deal on standardising global customs procedures, which was the first multilateral agreement concluded by the WTO, it said.
“Overall, the simulations confirm that the trade gains from speedy and comprehensive implementation of the TFA are likely to be in the trillion dollar range, contributing up to almost one per cent to annual GDP growth in some countries,” the report said.
“You could say that it’s global trade’s equivalent of the shift from dial-up internet to broadband,” said WTO director-general Roberto Azevedo said in a statement.
“The world is more connected than ever before. More and more developing countries are seeking to join global trade networks,” he said, adding the need for quick implementation.
The TFA approved by 160 WTO members in Geneva in November aims to streamline and harmonise customs procedures to bring an estimated saving of over $1 trillion annually.
The agreement will come into force when two-thirds of the 161 WTO members have ratified it. Fifty have done it so far.
A agreement between India and the US last year opened the way for a consensus on the TFA which eluded the WTO members.
“The TFA is a big deal which will be effective in reducing the cost of doing business for developed countries by 10 percent and for developing countries by 14 percent, adding billions of dollars to the world economy,” US trade representative Michael Froman said in New Delhi following the agreement last year.
India has asked for a permanent solution to the issue of public stockholding for food security purposes and not restricted for a period of four years as decided earlier during the WTO ministerial meeting in Bali, Indonesia, in 2013.