News List

Compiled features on recent developments in regional cooperation and integration in the SASEC region.

Year:
March 2017

Commentary: Boosting Trade Facilitation in Services

A fast-rising information technology-enabled services (ITES) is opening global opportunities for the millions of Indian college graduates that enter the workforce every year. In this article, Mr. Pritam Banergee, Senior Director for Corporate Public Policy (South Asia), Deutsche Post DHL, discusses the need for India’s government and businesses to focus on trade policy reform that ensure markets remain open for the ITES sector.

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Tags: Authorised Economic Operators, ICT, India, Employment, Jobs, Services, South Asia, Tariffs, Technology, Trade Facilitation, Trade Facilitation Agreement, Trade Policy, WTO

February 2017

India Files Proposal for Trade Deal on Services

India filed a draft Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) on Services at the World Trade Organization (WTO) on 23 February 2017. The proposal aims to increase transparency, reduce costs and facilitate cross-border flows of services. India is looking to push the proposal at the WTO Ministerial Meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in December.

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Tags: Customs, India, Services, Trade Facilitation Agreement, Transparency, Transport, WTO

February 2017

WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement Enters into Force

The World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement came into force after Rwanda, Oman, Chad, and Jordan submitted their instruments of acceptance to WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo. The submissions bring the total number of ratifications over the 110 required for activation. Members’ trade costs are forecast to lower by 14.3%, with developing countries having the most to gain.

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Tags: Bangladesh, India, LDC, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Trade Facilitation Agreement, WTO

February 2017

Speech: Advancing Global Trade and the Role of the WTO

The outlook for trade growth has weakened and we are seeing an uncertain period in the global economy. In this speech delivered before the Confederation of Indian Industry, World Trade Organization Director-General Roberto Azevêdo asserts that instead of raising barriers, the opening up of trade will ensure more opportunities for more people.

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Tags: Connectivity, Development, India, ICT, Employment, Services, Trade Facilitation Agreement, WTO

December 2016

Commentary: Bangladesh Inching towards Paperless Trade

Bangladesh has adopted the mantra "Digital Bangladesh" in its push to reduce trade costs, by implementing paperless trade through an electronic system. The country has already launched an online trade portal; the Central Bank is successfully conducting electronic transactions; and the National Board of Revenue has also enhanced its paperless capacity. Asjadul Kibria, Bangladeshi economic journalist, provides the following commentary.

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Tags: Bangladesh, Customs, Single Window, Trade, Trade Facilitation, Trade Facilitation Agreement, WTO

August 2016

Commentary: Trade Portal and Single Window Reduce Cost of Doing Business

The National Trade Portal and National Single Window are important components of the World Trade Organization's Trade Facilitation Agreement (WTO TFA). This commentary by Ms. Ferdous Ara Begum, Chief Executive Officer, Business Initiative Leading Development of Bangladesh, discusses how these could improve trade, gives an update on Bangladesh's initiatives toward ratifying the WTO TFA, and recommends a region-wide Single Window for South Asia.

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Tags: WTO, Trade Facilitation Agreement, ASEAN, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Trade Facilitation

May 2016

Sri Lanka Ratifies the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement

Sri Lanka has ratified the World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement (WTO TFA), submitting its instrument of acceptance on 31 May 2016. Mr. R.D. Susiri Kumararatne, Ambassador to WTO, Sri Lanka, presented Sri Lanka's instrument to WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo. The TFA will maintain the country's competitiveness in global and naval trade.

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Tags: Sri Lanka, Trade Facilitation Agreement, WTO

February 2016

Government of India Clears the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement

The Proposal for Notification of Commitments under the Trade Facilitation Agreement of the World Trade Organization (WTO), ratification and acceptance of the Instrument of Acceptance of Protocol of TFA to the WTO Secretariat and constitution of the National Committee on Trade Facilitation received approval from the Indian Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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Tags: India, Trade Facilitation Agreement, WTO

October 2015

World Trade Report 2015 Highlights Importance of Speedy, Extensive Implementation of the TFA

The latest World Trade Report launched on 26 October 2015 in Geneva, Switzerland is the first major study to comprehensively examine the benefits and challenges of implementing the World Trade Organization's Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) since its adoption in 2014. It highlights how extensive and speedy implementation of the TFA will lead to bigger gains, particularly for developing countries and least developed countries.

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Tags: WTO, Trade Facilitation Agreement, Trade

September 2015

Commentary: Implementation of WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement in Bangladesh

Read a commentary on the implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) in Bangladesh. The TFA provides a series of measures to facilitate smooth and efficient movement of goods across borders inspired by best practices from around the world. It is expected to benefit all members of the World Trade Organization, including Bangladesh.

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Tags: Bangladesh, Trade Facilitation, Trade Facilitation Agreement

July 2015

World Trade Organization’s Fifth Global Review of Aid for Trade

Heads of various international agencies agreed during the Fifth Global Review of Aid for Trade, held in Geneva, Switzerland on 30 June 2015 that reducing trade costs through initiatives such as World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement will help poor countries reap benefits of the global trading system. The Fifth Global Review examines actions taken to reduce trade costs so that developing countries and least-developed countries can participate more effectively in global trade.

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Tags: Aid for Trade, Trade Facilitation Agreement, WTO

May 2015

WTO Launches Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility Website

The Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility (TFAF) – launched on 22 July 2014 and operational by 27 November 2014 – assists developing countries and least developed country members reap the full benefits of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement. Recently, the WTO launched a dedicated website for the TFAF for members, donors, and others seeking information on the new TFAF.

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Tags: Trade Facilitation Agreement, Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility, WTO

January 2015

WTO Director General Highlights TFA Benefits at CII

As the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) reached its 120th year, the Partnership Summit – CII’s annual flagship event – gathered over 1,000 delegates to deliberate on global economic and trade scenarios, including enhancing developing countries’ ability to integrate into the world economy. WTO Director General Roberto Azevêdo highlighted India’s contribution to the multilateral trading system and noted the benefits of ratifying the trade facilitation agreement to Indian industries.

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Tags: WTO, Trade Facilitation Agreement, India

November 2014

India, USA Agreement puts TFA Back on Track

The agreement announced by the United States of America and India makes the World Trade Organization impasse likely to end and opens the way for implementation of the trade facilitation agreement. This new US-India agreement clarifies and makes open-ended the “peace clause” that was agreed during the Bali Ministerial in December 2013. The new deal clarifies ambiguities regarding India’s food stockpiles.

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Tags: India, United States, Trade Facilitation Agreement

November 2014

Plan of Action Adopted for LLDCs at Second UN Conference

The Second United Nations Conference on Landlocked Countries on 3-5 November 2014 in Vienna adopted a Programme of Action for Landlocked Developing Countries, which includes trade and trade facilitation as one of its six priorities. It recognizes the importance of implementing the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, particularly provisions on technical assistance and capacity-building.

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Tags: WTO, Trade Facilitation Agreement, LLDC

October 2014

Trade Facilitation Agreement Benefits Within Reach?

India remains concerned on finding a permanent solution on food stockholding, while preserving the integrity of the Bali package concluded at WTO’s 9th ministerial meeting. India is calling for progress on a parallel pact that allows it to subsidize and stockpile food grains than is currently allowed by WTO rules.

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Tags: WTO, India, Trade Facilitation Agreement

September 2014

Asia-Pacific Trade Facilitation Forum 2014 focuses on Trade Facilitation for Inclusive Development

The Asian Development Bank, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, in collaboration with the Ministry of Commerce of Thailand, jointly organized the 6th Asia-Pacific Trade Facilitation Forum (APTFF)—an annual regional platform—on September 24-25, 2014. Over 200 delegates joined the knowledge and experience-sharing forum.

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Tags: Trade Facilitation, Single Window, Trade Facilitation Agreement

July 2014

WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility Support LDCs and Developing Countries

A Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility was launched by the WTO on 22 July 2014, further ensuring that least developed countries and developing countries will receive necessary assistance in implementing the trade facilitation agreement.

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Tags: WTO, Trade Facilitation, Poverty Reduction, ADB, SASEC, Trade Facilitation Agreement, LDC, WCO, UNESCAP

July 2014

Reducing Practical Barriers to Trade

The World Economic Forum's Global Enabling Trade Report: 2014 offers a tool to monitor progress on implementing measures for the Trade Facilitation Agreement. It provides insights on how countries in South Asia can significantly gain from the $1 trillion boost the Trade Facilitation Agreement is expected to bring to the global economy.

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Tags: Trade Facilitation, Trade Policy, Poverty Reduction, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, South Asia, Trade Facilitation Agreement, Trade, WTO