e-Flash No. 148 - 10 April 2017



1. Successful 2017 FIATA HQ Session in Zurich 31st March 2nd of April

Over 250 FIATA members gathered at this year’s Headquarters’ Sessions, which took place between March 31st and April 2nd 2017 in Zurich to discuss industry developments such as the impact of block chain technology, as well as policy topics of great relevance in the development of logistics, such as private sector’s input in WTO’s TFA’s implementation, the interactions with institutions in transport policy priorities and the growing important of education and training. There was a much anticipated update on the new FIATA Cargo Programme agreed with the airlines and IATA, which is now rolling out starting in Canada, and much, much more. Delegates were totally committed to the debates, showing a full house until very late in the afternoon sessions.  They also enjoyed the drinks offered by the city of Zurich.

Articles on the meetings from the HQ Session will be published in the upcoming edition of the FIATA Review. Presentations and photos will be soon available on the FIATA website. 


2. 2017 RAME Field Meeting Registration

RAME’s 17th regional meeting is to be held between 4th and 6th of May 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Casablanca, Morocco. Organised by the Association of Freight Forwarders of Morocco (AFFM), this meeting will enable freight forwarders to establish contacts and develop business relationships with their counterparts from the region toward all parts of the world.

Speakers of the conference include WTO, UNCTAD, ITC and many more. For more details on the conference and to registration please visit the meeting’s website at: http://rame2017.com/



3. WTO - 2017 Public Forum Theme to be “Trade: Behind the Headlines”

The WTO’s 2017 Public Forum, to be held on 26th – 28th of September, will present an opportunity for participants to go beyond the rhetoric and examine the opportunities trade offers and the challenges it may bring. Entitled “Trade: Behind the Headlines”, the Forum comes at a time when anti-globalisation sentiment and rising protectionism call into question the role of trade. FIATA has participated in previous years’ forums, also hosting a side event in 2015. For more details please visit: https://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news17_e/pfor_27mar17_e.htm


4. WCO - MENA Region Discuss Priorities in Region

At the invitation of Bahrain Customs and WCO the 45th Regional Meeting of Directors General of Customs was held in Cairo at the League of Arab States Headquarters on 3rd of April 2017 with the support of the Egyptian Customs Administration. Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya presented the current key priorities of the WCO, concentrating on trade facilitation, e-commerce and digital Customs, security, illicit financial flows and Customs-Tax cooperation.

To read more please visit: http://www.wcoomd.org/en/media/newsroom/2017/april/directors-general-of-customs-of-mena-region-meet-to-discuss-priority-issues-for-the-region.aspx


5. WCO Conducts Research on Cross Border eCommerce in China

The first WCO research mission on cross-border eCommerce took place 21st – 28th of March 2017 in China, where the eCommerce infrastructure is well-established. With the support of China Customs, WCO officials visited local Customs offices, other government agencies, and eCommerce enterprises. 

To read more please visit: http://www.wcoomd.org/en/media/newsroom/2017/april/wco-conducts-research-on-cross-border-ecommerce-in-china.aspx


6. “Women Must Play a Bigger Role in Trade”, Declare International Bodies


The meeting, held on 17th of March as part of the 61st United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, highlighted that more gender-sensitive trade policies would not only reduce gender inequalities but also make trade more inclusive and sustainable. Read more at: http://unctad.org/en/pages/newsdetails.aspx?OriginalVersionID=1455&Sitemap_x0020_Taxonomy=UNCTAD%20Home;#1569;#Trade, Gender and Development

b. EU - International Forum

The International Forum on Women and Trade will be hosted by the European Commission and the International Trade Centre (ITC) in Brussels, Belgium, on 20th of June 2017. Policymakers, the business community and civil society organisations will convene to galvanise support for inclusive trade policy and the ITC SheTrades initiative to connect one million women to market by 2020, using trade as a lever for women’s economic empowerment.

Read more at: http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/events/index.cfm?id=1632

A number of initiatives in this area are listed here:  http://www.tradeforum.org/Women-and-Trade-What-are-International-Organizations-Doing/



7. ICAO - Increased Air Links and Partnerships Will Be Key to Unlocking Africa’s Potential

Addressing the Special Meeting of ECOWAS Member States this week in Accra, Ghana, during a complementary event to the Second ICAO Meeting on the Sustainable Development of Air Transport in Africa, ICAO Council President Dr Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu commented that “West Africa’s air transport market has huge untapped potential”, reiterating that ICAO would keep assisting States as they move forward with all of their regional and national targets, in particular through the UN Organization’s ‘No Country Left Behind’ initiative and with the support of the ICAO Regional Offices in Africa.

Read more at: http://www.icao.int/Newsroom/Pages/Increased-air-links-and-partnership-will-be-key-to-unlocking-huge-potential-for-West-African-air-travel-market.aspx



8. IEA Finds CO2 Emissions Flat for 3rd Straight Year in Growing Global Economy

Global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions were flat for a third straight year in 2016 even as the global economy grew, according to the International Energy Agency, signalling a continuing decoupling of emissions and economic activity. This was the result of growing renewable power generation, switches from coal to natural gas, improvements in energy efficiency, as well as structural changes in the global economy.

To read more please visit: http://www.iea.org/newsroom/news/2017/march/iea-finds-co2-emissions-flat-for-third-straight-year-even-as-global-economy-grew.html


9. FINLAND Shares Trove of Transport Data

On April 6th 2017 the Finnish Transport Agency opened up over 1.8 Terabytes of data (2.5 million separate .CSV files) collected in the automatic traffic counting system TMS. The Finnish Transport Agency now offers open access to measurement data collected in the TMS system since 1995.


This is part of a wider effort by the Finnish Government to make publicly collected societal data available in the public domain. This includes, for example, large parts of meteorological, cartographic, sociological data etc. One of the aims of providing such data platforms is to boost private sector’s innovations to various type of services and products. (See e.g. the Mobility-as-a-Services, or MaaS, concept that is enabled by this type of data access: http://maas.global/  )

Further information available at:




10. UNECA Urges Africa to Invest More in Infrastructure for Sustainable Development

African governments and their partners should focus on developing hard infrastructure and support efforts of Ministers in charge of Trade and Integration to realise a Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) that encompasses rules for intra-African trade in goods and services, key among them energy, transport and logistics services.

This was said at the African Union Specialised Technical Committee (STC) on Transport, Transcontinental and Interregional Infrastructures, Energy and Tourism (TIIIET) that opened in Togo last week.

Read more at: http://www.uneca.org/stories/eca-urges-africa-invest-more-infrastructure-sustainable-development


11. UNECA - To Improve Investments Africa Must Strengthen Regional Integration

Africa wants to create one the most attractive economic zones through a homogenised Customs union and economic community, but regulation and weak integration hinder investment opportunities. UNECA suggested Africa should remove the bottlenecks impending more investment flows, where the African Investment Code (PAIC) may have a role. The Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) is said to represent an opportunity for the continent to have “free movements of goods, services, people and capital.”

To read more please visit: http://www.uneca.org/stories/improve-investments-africa-must-strengthen-policies-and-regional-integration-its-markets


12. UNESCAP Forum Adopts New Regional Road Map toward SDGs in Asia-Pacific

Asia-Pacific countries have adopted an accelerated road map for regional cooperation on implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD 2017) that concluded last week in Bangkok. The road map lays out priority areas, implementation arrangements and a process for tracking progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), building on the agreements reached at the last two APFSD meetings.

To read more please visit: http://www.unescap.org/news/un-forum-adopts-new-regional-road-map-accelerate-sustainable-development-goals-asia-pacific


13. ADB Investment in Batumi Bypass to Improve Logistics, Transport in Georgia

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $114 million loan to help improve regional connectivity and road transport efficiency in Georgia, while strengthening the country’s bid to become a regional transport and logistics hub with a new 14.3 kilometre bypass road skirting the port city of Batumi, Georgia’s second largest city and a crucial entry-exit point for the trade commodities plying through East-West Highway. 

To read more please visit: https://www.adb.org/news/adb-investment-batumi-bypass-improve-logistics-transport-georgia

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