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Thursday, 14 March 2013

EU targets global WTO deal to cut red tape

The European Commission is pushing to secure a World Trade Organisation (WTO) agreement that would cut red tape in trade and increase worldwide income by over €30 billion. Two thirds of this would go to developing countries.
Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs and Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht have joined forces to help secure a WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement as part of global efforts to increase trade's contribution to development, the European Commission announced on 8 March.
The EU's support follows demands from Least-Developed Countries (LDCs) for help with the deal, which could be agreed at the WTO's 9th Ministerial Conference in Bali, Indonesia on 3-6 December 2013.
On average, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) members demand five documents at customs and it takes them 10 days to clear goods, at a cost of about €735 per container. By contrast, African countries require on average twice as many documents, up to 35 days to clear exports and 44 days to clear imports, at an average cost per container of €1,285 for exports and €1,535 for imports. The OECD estimates that reducing global trade costs by 1% would increase world-wide income by more than US$40 billion, 65% of which would go to developing countries.
"Trade facilitation is about better customs procedures, cutting red tape, fighting corruption, and cutting costs for business. Cutting the cost of trade by just 1% would increase worldwide income by over €30 billion and two thirds of this would go to developing countries,” De Gucht said.


Source: Euractiv

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