Kenyan Foreign Minister and Chair of the 10th World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference Amina Mohamed (C), Director-General of WTO Roberto Azevedo (R) and WTO spokesman Keith Rockwell attend the opening press conference ahead of the opening ceremony of the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, Dec. 15, 2015. (Xinhua/Sun Ruibo) (djj)
Kenyan Foreign Minister and Chair of the 10th World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference Amina Mohamed (C), Director-General of WTO Roberto Azevedo (R) and WTO spokesman Keith Rockwell attend the opening press conference ahead of the opening ceremony of the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, Dec. 15, 2015. (Xinhua/Sun Ruibo) (djj)

Australia welcomes the entry into force of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade Facilitation, as it will make exporting easier for Australian businesses and drive job creation, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Steven Ciobo said on Saturday.

“The Agreement frees up the movement of goods across international borders by reducing red tape and the burden of administrative costs associated with trade,” Ciobo said in a statement.

“It minimizes and streamlines customs processes, and improves transparency about rules affecting international trade, making it easier for Australian businesses to export.”

He quoted the Peterson Institute for International Economics in the United States as saying that it is estimated the agreement could increase global GDP by 1 trillion U.S. dollars per annum and create 21 million jobs.

The agreement will ensure Australia’s exports spend less time being held up in inefficient customs procedures overseas. It will complement the gains Australia has made through its free trade agreements with China, Japan and South Korea.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has estimated that full implementation of the agreement could reduce trade costs by more than 10 percent for OECD countries, of which Australia is a member, and globally by between 12.5 percent and 17.5 percent.

It’s no secret that the multilateral negotiations under the WTO have encountered difficulties, which makes the entry into force of the agreement on trade facilitation even more valuable. The agreement is the first new agreement among all WTO members in more than 20 years.

WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo announced Wednesday that the trade facilitation agreement has entered into force after two thirds of members completed their domestic ratification process. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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