Trade facilitation and regional integration
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Trade Facilitation and Regional Integration. Jonathan Claridge Directorate-General for Trade European Commission UNCTAD Expert Meeting Geneva, 21-23 September 2005. Example of benefits of Trade Facilitation.

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Trade facilitation and regional integration

Trade Facilitation and Regional Integration

Jonathan Claridge

Directorate-General for Trade

European Commission

UNCTAD Expert Meeting

Geneva, 21-23 September 2005


Example of benefits of Trade Facilitation

Mozambique: During first two years of customs reform programme, revenues increased by over 50% despite significant tariff cuts.

Morocco: Releasing a container in Casablanca took on average 18-20 days in 1996. Following reforms, customs clearance fell to 1-2 hours. Equivalent to a massive expansion of port facilities, at a fraction of the cost.


Regional Trade Facilitation

National reforms can have very significant benefits

Regional reforms potentially have far bigger impact

E.g: Common rules across 25 EU Member States


Supporting regional efforts – role of DDA

  • WTO can set commitments that would facilitate regional integration

  • transit regimes

  • cross-border co-operation

  • transparency

  • standards

  • mobilising international support and technical assistance- SDT

  • Development of WTO rules can draw on regional experiences.

  • WTO rules and regional arrangement mutually supportive


Supporting regional efforts – role of DDA

Regional TF integration and WTO Rules no panacea

To maximise benefit, needs to be part of broader reforms, including broader regional integration


Example of regional agreements

  • EPAs – Economic Partnership Agreements

  • Promotion of regional integration measures

  • Development co-operation and assistance

  • Biregional commitments

  • In all cases, need to design agreement with trading profile of EPA beneficiaries in mind:


The development dimension technical assistance
The development dimension – technical assistance

EU: Many programmes cover trade facilitation

Trade a key development priority

Trade facilitation and customs reform prioritised

Strong regional integration focus

EU Member States active

Ongoing efforts to enhance further


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