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Ratify 'Agreement on Global Trade Facilitation' – FTA
Oct '14
The Foreign Trade Association (FTA) and 13 other business organisations from four continents and representing more than 60 countries have urged WTO Member States to immediately unblock and ratify the long-awaited Agreement on Trade Facilitation.

These trade bodies consider this agreement decisive for both simplifying customs procedures worldwide and overcoming the current impasse of the multilateral trade system.

“Failure of the Trade Facilitation Agreement would have dramatic consequences for the WTO and international commerce,” the joint statement informs.

The FTA, representing over 1,400 European retailers, importers and brand companies, hailed the breakthrough on Trade Facilitation achieved in December 2013 and acknowledged the crucial role played by the WTO to finally deliver tangible results after years of stalled discussions.

“However, the blocking of the implementation of the deal by India is once again threatening the credibility of the World Trade Organisation and the equilibrium of the entire multilateral trading system,” FTA added.

“Businesses worldwide are deeply worried about India’s policy, which should live up to the commitment made in Bali instead of adding more obstacles to the process,” FTA Director General, Jan Eggert stressed.

“The WTO General Council on 21 October 2014 will show the way: success or fiasco of the most prominent WTO undertaking since its creation in 1995,” he noted.

The co-signatories of this joint statement expressed serious concern about the current state of play and make an urgent appeal to WTO leaders to break the deadlock and implement an agreement that would significantly cut red tape and streamline global customs procedures.

“In a world of global supply chains, a multilateral trade rule book facilitating commerce and supporting the development needs of many countries around the world is crucial,” they said.

“This joint statement is a final call to save the agreement from a perpetual impasse. If a solution is not reached in the upcoming meetings, the consequences would be too dramatic for the global trading system and the existence of the WTO”, Jan Eggert underlined by saying. (AR)

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