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GENEVA: IATA and the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) have signed an MoU to support countries seeking to implement the World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).

The TFA is designed to make developing countries more competitive by facilitating automated and smart border solutions for secure supply chains in order to reduce costs by up to 10 percent.

TCM"Aligning regulation and procedures with global standards and best practices has the potential to deliver major efficiency gains. That's the aim of the [TFA] which presents a great opportunity for our industry to reduce these delays and costs, particularly in developing countries," said IATA CEO Tony Tyler.

FIATA has also endorsed the agreement noting implementation of the TFA provisions will be a "win-win" for sustainable growth among countries that opt in.
In a statement it declared: "FIATA maintains its full support to the WTO as this historic agreement is expected to deliver greater facilitation to trade in times when better trade could lift more and more countries out of poverty, increase the welfare of the more developed nations and contribute to better health and human conditions all over the world."

FIATA Customs Affairs chairman Stephen Morris said the organization's 40,000 members should encourage their respective governments to set up trade facilitation committees in a timely manner, adding: "Make sure that logistics and supply chain related services are appropriately represented in the facilitation committees, for the improvement of the regulatory interface and with the aim of fostering the fruitful, swift and efficient implementation of the agreement as widely as possible in the world."

According to Christian Friis Bach, UNECE executive secretary, the new collaboration with IATA will strengthen the implementation of standards in both developing and least developed countries and lead to the creation of new jobs.

"UNECE has worked with the business community for many years to develop trade facilitation recommendations and standards that reduce the cost of doing business. An excellent example of the application of these instruments is the IATA e-Freight programme which reflects UNECE standards," he noted.

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