(STR Trade Report)
The World Bank Group and the World Trade Organization announced Oct. 10 an agreement to enhance their cooperation in assisting developing and least-developed countries to better utilize trade facilitation programs.
The WTO launched a Trade Facilitation Agreement facility in July to help developing countries that are unable to obtain support from the development community to implement the provisions of the TFA, which was agreed by all WTO members in December 2013 but has since run into obstacles to its implementation. Similarly, the World Bank Group announced in June a trade facilitation support program to help developing countries implement the TFA. The Bank’s support in this area is now more than $13.2 billion in grants and financing, half of which is focused on trade facilitation.
According to a joint press release, the Oct. 10 announcement confirms that the two organizations will work closely together to ensure that support is available for all who need it under the terms of the TFA. The WTO and World Bank will also prepare in 2015 a joint study on the role of trade in ending extreme poverty while boosting shared prosperity.