Maersk joins WTO’s Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation
The Maersk Group has joined the Global Alliance for Trade, an organization announced at the recent 10th WTO Ministerial Conference in Nairobi, Kenya.
The objective of the alliance is to accelerate trade facilitation reforms by supporting swift and wide implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). Customs processes often involve large amounts of documentation that typically are not digitized. This, and lack of coordination between private and government actors, noted Maersk Group CEO Nils Andersen, adds unnecessary waiting time and delays to traded goods, resulting in added inventory costs and the risks of penalties for importers and exporters.
“When fully implemented, the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement will represent an important step toward minimizing supply chain barriers and reinvigorating global trade,” said Andersen. “By joining the alliance with governments and partners, the Maersk Group will use its local expertise to support the implementation and stimulate local growth.”
Reforms aiming at reducing transit time of goods across borders can increase trade flows significantly and thus drive growth and job creation in low- and middle-income countries, Andersen noted. The WTO estimates that a full implementation of the TFA can add $1 trillion to the global GDP annually and 21 million new jobs globally. A successful implementation will therefore benefit all countries involved, as well as importers and exporters, said Andersen.
The first step for the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation is to diagnose the largest trade barriers in specific countries. “With 90 percent of all traded goods moved by sea, the Maersk Group can support this process with the insight of our experts on local markets,” said Andersen.
The WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement will enter into force once two-thirds, or 108 of World Trade Organization members have ratified the accord.
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