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US$1 trillion gain from trade facilitation agreement

GENEVA: February 22, 2017. IATA says it welcomes the entry into force of the World Trade Organization's (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), following ratification by Chad, Jordan, Oman and Rwanda to reach the required 110 members.

Full implementation of the TFA is forecast to slash members' trade costs by an average of 14.3 per cent, with developing countries having the most to gain according to a 2015 WTO study.

The organization said it expects the TFA to reduce the time needed to import goods by over 36 hours and almost 48 hours for exports, a drop of 47 percent and 91 percent respectively over the current average.

"The Trade Facilitation Agreement will cut red tape at the border for faster, cheaper and easier trade. That's great news for airlines, which deliver about a third of the goods traded across borders by value," said IATA director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac - adding the TFA is a timely reminder of the dangers of "current protectionist rhetoric".

First Korean Air B787-9The TFA promotes trade by establishing harmonized rules for expediting the movement, release and clearance of goods based on a commitment to accepting e-payments and electronic documentation.

Commenting on the ratification, WTO director general Roberto Azevêdo said it was "fantastic news" because the TFA will help cut trade costs and "kick-start technical assistance work to help poorer countries with implementation" that could lead to an annual US$1 trillion boost to global trade.

"This is the biggest reform of global trade in a generation. It can make a big difference for growth and development around the world. Now, working together, we have the responsibility to implement the Agreement to make those benefits a reality," he added.

Coincident with TFA ratification by the government of South Korea, Korean Air has taken delivery of its first B787-9 (right) with five more due in 2017 and another five by 2019. The first aircraft will be used to launch long-haul passenger and cargo services to Toronto, Madrid, and Zurich this year.

As of February 22, 2017, the following WTO members have accepted the TFA: Hong Kong China, Singapore, the U.S., Mauritius, Malaysia, Japan, Australia, Botswana, Trinidad and Tobago, the Republic of Korea, Nicaragua, Niger, Belize, Switzerland, Chinese Taipei, China, Liechtenstein, Lao PDR, New Zealand, Togo, Thailand, the European Union (on behalf of its 28 member states), the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Pakistan, Panama, Guyana, Côte d'Ivoire, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Kenya, Myanmar, Norway, Viet Nam, Brunei Darussalam, Ukraine, Zambia, Lesotho, Georgia, Seychelles, Jamaica, Mali, Cambodia, Paraguay, Turkey, Brazil, Macao China, the UAE, Samoa, India, the Russian Federation, Montenegro, Albania, Kazakhstan, Sri Lanka, St. Kitts and Nevis, Madagascar, the Republic of Moldova, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Senegal, Uruguay, Bahrain, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Iceland, Chile, Swaziland, Dominica, Mongolia, Gabon, the Kyrgyz Republic, Canada, Ghana, Mozambique, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, Nigeria, Nepal, Rwanda, Oman, Chad and Jordan.

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