Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb today announced that Australia has formally accepted the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade Facilitation.

“I am very pleased that Australia has now formally accepted this agreement.  On full implementation, it is estimated that the Trade Facilitation Agreement will increase global GDP by US$1 trillion per annum and create 21 million jobs, with developing nations expected to be major beneficiaries,” Mr Robb said.

The Agreement will materially assist Australian business by reducing red tape and administrative costs associated with exporting and importing.  It will minimise and streamline customs processes, improve appeal and consultation procedures, and make it easier for all businesses to navigate trade requirements and launch into new export markets.

“Australia is the seventh of the WTO’s 161 Members to accept the Agreement, reflecting our leadership role in global trade policy. I encourage all WTO Members to accept this Agreement to ensure its benefits start flowing as soon as possible,” Mr Robb said.

“Our acceptance of this Agreement reinforces the importance Australia attaches to the WTO and the multilateral trading system. I look forward to achieving real outcomes that will help drive growth in the global economy at the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference in Nairobi in December this year.”

Australia’s acceptance of the Agreement follows the recommendation of the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) in its 26 March 2015 report that Australia takes binding treaty action. The Agreement will enter into force after it has been accepted by two thirds of WTO Members.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Trade and Investment Steven Ciobo accepted the Agreement on behalf of Mr Robb after meeting with WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo during the annual OECD Ministerial Council Meetings (MCM) in Paris.

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