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A call by the director general of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to include trade facilitation in a new package of multilateral trade negotiations has won the backing of The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) which says the move would not only benefit the air cargo industry but also the world economy.
In his statement to an informal Trade Negotiations Committee meeting June 22, WTO Director General Pascal Lamy described an "LDC (least developed countries) Plus" package that could include Trade Facilitation as well as certain other measures as part of the package of agreements that negotiators are seeking to conclude in time for a ministerial conference this December.
TIACA strongly supports inclusion of trade facilitation in the December package. Modern, efficient customs procedures are critical for international airfreight shipments, and TIACA has long supported them, as they are essential if the air cargo sector is to capitalize on its inherent advantage of speed. Furthermore, trade facilitation can promote economic growth: aviation is a key facilitator of international trade, allowing small and medium-sized businesses to compete internationally.
Trade facilitation is also important to developing countries, since inefficient trade procedures lose revenue for governments as well as for importers and exporters. The negative impact of inefficient trade procedures further manifests itself by impeding competition and therefore undermining investment in developing economies, and by limiting the efficiencies of domestic producers.
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