Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb today formally tabled the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation in Parliament.

Agreed to as part of the Bali package in December 2013, the Government’s tabling of the agreement sends a strong message that this Government is committed to generating jobs and growth in Australia and abroad.

“This agreement is about cutting red tape. It shows that the multilateral trading system is continuing to deliver outcomes with significant benefits and global reach. I encourage all WTO Members to implement the Agreement on Trade Facilitation quickly as an effective action towards boosting trade and creating jobs,” Mr Robb said.

“Through the simplification of customs procedures, this agreement will provide certainty to Australian businesses looking to export their goods.”

According to the OECD, the agreement will reduce the costs of trading goods by 10 per cent for OECD countries, while delivering billions to the world economy and boosting global employment, particularly in developing countries. It is estimated that up to USD 40 billion could be added to the world economy for every one per cent reduction in global trade costs.

Australia is prepared to assist developing countries to implement the agreement and to undertake the necessary reforms to facilitate trade. Australia already provides trade facilitation assistance to Pacific Island countries. In partnership with the World Bank, we have further committed to support global efforts to help developing country partners undertake trade facilitation reform.

The agreement complements Australia’s development assistance and will deliver substantial benefits to our developing country partners. According to the OECD, the full implementation of the Agreement on Trade Facilitation could reduce trade costs by as much as 14 per cent for low income countries and create millions of jobs in developing countries.

“I would like to acknowledge all officials who have contributed to this outcome, as well as my predecessors, in particular former Trade Minister Craig Emerson,” Mr Robb said.

The WTO expects the Agreement on Trade Facilitation will enter into force by July 2015.

The full text can be found: http://www.dfat.gov.au/trade/negotiations/trade_facilitation.html.

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