Overseas news:

APT attended the FIATA World Congress 2017

The president of the ‘Association Professionnelle des Transitaires’ (Professional Freight Forwarders Association) of Mauritius, Gupta Gopaul felt privileged to attend the 2017 World Congress of the International Federation of Freight Forwarders (FIATA) which was held at Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.
Several thought-provoking issues impacting global logistics had been discussed by high-calibre speakers, shedding light on the latest changes, innovations and paradigm shifts in global logistics.
The challenges in the implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) stood out as one of the key themes that drew the attention of the audience of more than 1 000 participants coming from over 76 countries.
In her presentation, Ms Ana Hinojosa, Director, Compliance & Facilitation at the World Customs Organization, highlighted the dual objectives of the World Trade Organisation in rolling out the TFA by facilitating trade while ensuring the safety and security of the different countries against illicit merchandise as well as other related risks.
She added that the World Trade Organisation’s Trade Facilitation Agreement has entered into force since February 2017 with 121 member countries having already ratified it. It is worth noting that Mauritius was one of the first countries to adopt that international agreement.
Ana Hinojosa insisted that the best strategy to achieve the seamless implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement in a country is first to define a shared vision that all parties coming both from the public and private sectors, will be working towards transforming into reality. In addition, effective communication and coordination are key success factors.
For his part, Mr Ankur Huria, Senior Private Sector Specialist –Trade Facilitation and Logistics at the World Bank, explained how trade facilitation can lead to substantial global gains.
He referred to a survey estimating that the full implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement will generate financial benefits in the range of US $ 110 and US $ 210 billion per year through a reduction of the time required for customs clearance.
Furthermore, the simplified and modernised border procedures and controls also ease the flow of goods between countries and enhance cooperation between customs officials of different nationalities, thus, contributing to facilitate international trade.
Mr Ankur Huria of the World Bank emphasised the fact that lower logistics costs due to the TFA can be critical to the efficiency of manufacturing firms especially small-sized ones as logistics costs can represent on average, between 18 and 42% of the selling price of their products.
He added that the World Bank has set up a ‘Trade Facilitation Support Program’ to assist developing countries in reforming and aligning their trade facilitation laws, procedures, processes and systems to enable the implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement requirements.

Moreover, the Senior Private Sector Specialist –Trade Facilitation and Logistics of the World Bank stated during the 2017 FIATA World Congress that the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement offered a window of opportunities to companies offering logistic services. The regulations governing their operations improve their particular fields of competence and quality of service, creating a more level playing field for competition between the players.

Last but not least, Dr. Mohammad Saeed, Senior Trade Facilitation Adviser at the International Trade Centre, a joint agency of the United Nations and the WTO dedicated to provide relevant training and contributing to capacity building, pointed out that the effective participation of the private sector is essential for the National Trade Facilitation Committees (NTFCs) which are important platforms for coordination between institutions and for enhanced consultation with the different stakeholders to have a more balanced private and public sector participation.

THE NTFCs enable the implementation of trade facilitation reforms in a coordinated manner and eliminate the risk of the private sector being the main victim of cross-border procedures inefficiencies but instead, the main beneficiary of the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement.

“Public-private dialogue must be leveraged at each stop of the policy making process. After diagnostic, solution building should be achieved through consensus and for the reforms to work, there is the need for monitoring and evaluation”, voiced out Dr. Mohammad Saeed during the FIATA World Congress.
The Senior Trade Facilitation Adviser at the International Trade Centre also emphasised on the importance of giving the opportunity to comment before entry into force of any measure.
“Partnership and trust must be conducted in a transparent way by making all information available early to stakeholders. Each party must understand the need for collaboration and compromise. Finally, participants in the discussions should include different levels (strategic, operational and technical) so that to ensure the smooth implementation of the trade facilitation agreements.”

Posted by: Editor on Saturday, 13th Jan 2018

Posted by: on Thursday, 1st Jan 1970