INTERNATIONAL TRADE & CUSTOMS
1. FIATA in Geneva for UNCTAD’s eCommerce Week
The last day of UNCTAD’s eCommerce week marks the end of fruitful debates surrounding the opportunities and admittedly uncertainties that eCommerce advancement brings. FIATA’s Director General, Mr Marco Sorgetti, participated in a panel which examined the future working relationship between industry and institutions and was focussed on solutions that will support the development.
FIATA has been active in the work of eCommerce logistics. In addition to joining UNCTAD’s e-Trade for All Initiative and working on the WCO eCommerce Working Group, FIATA published its position on eCommerce’s Impact on International Trade Logistics highlighting how logistics fits into the eCommerce equation.
To read the paper please visit:
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2. UNCTAD - Ministers Discuss Opportunities and Challenges of eCommerce
UNCTAD gathers global leaders in business, government, the international community and civil society to debate and learn the opportunities and challenges of the digital transformation. With a special focus on the implications for developing countries, UNCTAD's eCommerce Week ran April 24-28 2017 on the theme "Towards Inclusive eCommerce".
More than 600 delegates representing 65 countries attended and spoke during the E-commerce Week. High-level representatives from Alibaba, eBay, Etsy, FedEx, Jumia, Huawei, Kapruka, PayPal, Ringier, TCS Holdings, Vodafone, and other eCommerce businesses were speaking at the conference, engaging with government representatives and civil society.
3. UNECE and Partners Help Azerbaijan Prepare for WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement
Azerbaijan is in the process of negotiating its accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO). Implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), which entered into force on 22 February 2017, would thus be included in the package of obligations for the country upon accession. The Azerbaijani Government requested UNECE, in collaboration with UNCTAD, to prepare an assessment of its readiness to implement the WTO TFA.
4. WCO Europe Regional Heads of Customs Conference in Austria
Around 50 WCO Members of the Region took note of the multi-faceted role of Customs in today's society. In the context of trade facilitation transit, so important for Austria, has an importance in enabling the free flow of goods while protecting revenues. This meeting contributed to the concept of enhanced transit processes.
5. WCO - Engaging Nigeria Customs on SAFE AEO
The Nigerian Customs in collaboration with the WCO hosted a National SAFE AEO Workshop funded by the Customs Cooperation Fund (CCF), Korea 11 to 14 April 2017 at the Customs Command and Staff College, Gwagwalada - Abuja, a WCO Regional Training Centre (RTC) for Western and Central Africa (WCA).
To read more please visit: http://www.wcoomd.org/en/media/newsroom/2017/april/engaging-nigeria-customs-on-safe-aeo.aspx
6. World Bank - Competitiveness of South Asia’s Container Ports
A new World Bank report finds that while South Asia’s ports have made improvements, there is room for continued progress as shipping still costs more and takes longer in South Asia than in some other regions. Through improving its ports, South Asia could increase its exports to create stronger economies, better jobs, and a better standard of living.
South Asia has had outstanding economic growth in the last two decades and could grab a bigger share of international trade, but inefficiencies in its ports threaten to hinder progress and stop it from matching other regions like East Asia, a new World Bank report shows.
7. EU - Commission Publishes Report Following Round of Trade Talks with Japan
The Commission published - as part of its commitment to a more transparent trade policy – a report summarising the progress made during the latest round of EU-Japan trade talks which took place in April in Tokyo.
The report offers summary of the progress made in all areas of the negotiations, namely: 1) Trade in goods (including Market Access, and General Rules); 2) Non-Tariff Measures; 3) Rules of Origin; 4) Trade in Services; 5) Procurement; 6) Intellectual Property (including Geographical Indications); 7) Other issues (Institutions and Regulatory Cooperation).
Read more at: http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/press/index.cfm?id=1656
8. DG Azevêdo and Jack Ma Discuss the Power of Technology to Boost Small Businesses
Director-General Roberto Azevêdo welcomed Jack Ma to the WTO on 25th of April to discuss how eCommerce can help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) grow their business and thereby boost development and job creation around the world.
Mr Ma outlined the proposal for the establishment of an Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP). This platform would be a way of bringing together the private sector (led by SMEs). To read more please visit: https://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news17_e/dgra_25apr17_e.htm
9. UNCTAD - Global Survey Reveals Declining Trust in the Internet on eCommerce
A new global survey reveals that Internet users are increasingly concerned about their online privacy, and that 49 percent of users polled say lack of trust is their main reason for not shopping online. Released at the UNCTAD eCommerce Week in Geneva, the 2017 CIGI-Ipsos Global Survey on Internet Security & Trust shows that among those worried about their privacy, the top sources of concern were cybercriminals (82%), Internet companies (74%) and governments (65%).
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10. UNCTAD – Promoting Investment in the Digital Economy
UNCTAD's Special Issue of the Investment Policy Monitor shows that, even though promoting investment in the digital economy is a priority for almost all countries, there is a need to strengthen the investment dimension in digital strategies and improve policy coordination.
Considering the pressing need to increase investment in digital infrastructure and businesses, policymakers in charge of investment, on the one hand, and digital development, on the other, should work synergistically.
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SUSTAINABLE LOGISTICS & CONNECTIVITY
11. ICAO - State and Intergovernmental Leaders Concur on Ambitions for African Aviation
Strengthened alignment on the development of aviation in Africa has resulted from high-level bilateral meetings between ICAO, the Government of Ethiopia, and the African Union undertaken last week by ICAO’s Secretary General, Dr Fang Liu.
12. UNESCAP - Enhancing Regional Economic Cooperation to Advance the 2030 Agenda
A United Nations meeting in Bangkok last week concluded that fostering regional economic cooperation and integration (RECI) in Asia-Pacific holds great potential to further reduce poverty, and advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
As its share of world GDP increases and as protectionist sentiment grows in Asia-Pacific export markets, the case for strengthening RECI to support intraregional trade and investment as an engine of regional growth is clear.
13. UNFCCC - G20 Need to End Fossil Fuel Subsidies by 2020
The world’s 49 most climate vulnerable countries have called on the G20 group of nations to phase out fossil fuel subsidies by 2020 and to ensure that adequate climate finance is provided so that they can green their economies and adapt to the inevitable impacts of climate change.
In a communiqué issued at a meeting in Washington DC, Ministers of the “V20” group of nations say: “Our and other countries’ very existence is threatened by climate change. All financial flows, including those of multilateral development banks, should be aligned with the Paris Agreement, the 1.5C temperature limit, and our member economies’ 100% renewable energy vision in support of sustainable development.”
To read more please visit: http://newsroom.unfccc.int/unfccc-newsroom/g20-need-to-end-fossil-fuel-subsidies-by-2020/
14. UNECA - Regional Forum on Sustainable Development Set for May in Addis Ababa
The 2017 Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD), in preparation for the 2017 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), will be held in Addis Ababa between 16th and 19th of May under the theme: “Ensuring inclusive and sustainable growth and prosperity for all”. In Africa, the SDGs are being implemented concurrently and in an integrated manner with the First 10-year Implementation Plan of Agenda 2063, Africa’s 50-year strategic framework for socio-economic transformation which seeks to accelerate the implementation of past and existing continental initiatives for growth and sustainable development.
To read more please visit: http://www.uneca.org/stories/regional-forum-sustainable-development-set-may-addis-ababa