World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


APEC weighs in on WTO’s Third Global Review of Aid for Trade

APEC weighs in on WTO’s Third Global Review of Aid for Trade

Geneva, Switzerland, 20 July 2011 - Making it easier for businesses to deal with non-tariff barriers will contribute to economic expansion, said APEC Secretariat Executive Director, Ambassador Muhamad Noor, at the Third Global Review of Aid for Trade in Geneva on Monday.

The World Trade Organization (WTO), its members and key international aid and development organizations are conducting the Third Global Review of Aid for Trade from 18-19 July in Geneva. Aid for Trade is an initiative aimed at helping developing and least-developed countries to increase exports of goods and services, to integrate more effectively into the multilateral trading system and to benefit from liberalized trade and increased market access opportunities.

During a session on trade facilitation, Ambassador Noor offered an assessment of APEC’s achievements since the launch of the initiative and offered lessons about the impact of APEC’s work in the area.

“Preliminary estimates suggest that APEC’s work on trade facilitation reduced business transaction costs within APEC by 5.2 percent in real terms during the 2007-2010 period – representing a net savings of around US$60 billion.”

“APEC’s Trade Facilitation Action Plans greatly contribute towards the realisation of free trade and investment in the Asia Pacific region,” he said in a reference to the Bogor Goals.

He said that following the reduction in tariffs as a result of trade negotiations and unilateral liberalisation, non-tariff issues, including customs and other procedures, have become relatively more significant to the effort to promote trade.

“In recent years there has been a globalisation of the supply chain with multiple economies being involved in the production of many goods,” explained Noor. “There is increasing need for trade facilitation efforts, more so on behalf of small and medium size businesses.”

On average, APEC funds around 100 projects each year, to a total value of about US$8 million.

“For APEC, which operates under a voluntary framework, capacity building is even more critical to the implementation effort,” Noor underscored.

In 2010, 18 percent of APEC’s funding for capacity building was channeled to economic infrastructure; 38 percent went to APEC’s trade-related capacity building including support for reforms in banking and financial services; and 44 percent went to improving trade policy and regulation.

APEC economies’ total trade in goods and services increased five-fold between 1989 and 2010, from US$3.1 trillion to US$16.8 trillion and average tariffs in the region has fallen from 17 percent in 1989, to 6.2 percent in 2009.

Employment in APEC economies grew by 14 percent between 1996 and 2009 while poverty was reduced by 42 percent between 1994 and 2007, according to the APEC Policy Support Unit.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Climate Strike: At UN, Youth Activists Press For Bold Action

This first-ever UN Youth Climate Summit follows Friday’s global ‘climate strike’, which saw millions of young people from across the globe walk out of school and jam streets in major cities, from New York to New Delhi and Santiago to San Francisco. More>>


Pacific: Tongan PM 'Akilisi Pohiva Dies, Aged 78

A constant thorn in the side of the monarchy and nobility, Mr Pohiva's lifelong battle for representation had seen him fired from the public service and charged with sedition... More>>


Untied Kingdom: UK PM Moves To Suspend Parliament In Weeks Before Brexit

The Prime Minister has briefed Cabinet colleagues that the government will bring forward an ambitious new legislative programme for MPs’ approval, and that the current parliamentary session will be brought to an end. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Hong Kong Protest Movement

The pro-democracy protests enjoy huge support among Hong Kong’s youth, partly because the democratic systems currently at risk have only a limited time span. More>>