e-Flash No. 160 - 12 September 2017



1. FIATA World Congress 2017, Kuala Lumpur Malaysia – Gearing up for an Annual Industry Update and Get-Together


Only about a month to FIATA's World Congress, the most anticipated event in the industry's annual calendar. The local host - the Federation of Malaysian Freight Forwarders (FMFF) is busy making the necessary preparations to welcome delegates to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Apart from the interesting Congress programme, FIATA members can also look forward to an exciting time in Malaysia, which offers a "melting pot" of cultural diversity in its people, food, architecture and history - and an unrivalled showcase of the country's top-class and fast-expanding regional logistics facilities.

Register for your delegate pass here: www.fiata2017.org



2. WTO - Azevêdo Begins Second Term as Director General

Roberto Azevêdo marked the start of his second term as WTO Director General on 1 September, focusing on the challenges facing the trading system and stressing the importance of the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC11), which will take place in Buenos Aires in December this year. His term will run for four years, until 31 August 2021.

Roberto Azevêdo was appointed to serve a second four-year term as Director General by a consensus decision of all WTO members, taken at a meeting of the General Council on 28 February 2017.

For more details please visit: https://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news17_e/dgra_31aug17_e.htm


3. WTO - Kenya Hosts 1st Regional Dialogue on WTO Accessions for Africa

Initiated and hosted by the Government of Kenya, this event is specifically tailored for acceding governments in the Greater Horn of Africa region – Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan and Comoros. South Sudan is also participating in the Dialogue, as it is planning to submit its application for WTO membership shortly.

The Regional Dialogue on WTO Accessions was jointly opened by: Amina Mohamed, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs; Professor Peter Mbithi, Vice-Chancellor, University of Nairobi; and Maika Oshikawa, Officer in Charge of the WTO’s Accessions Division.

For more details please visit: https://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news17_e/acc_29aug17_e.htm


4. WCO - Western and Central Africa Region Moves on Digital Customs

The WCO with support from the Japanese Customs Cooperation Fund (CCF/Japan) and Burkina Faso Customs Administration, organized a Regional Workshop on Digital Customs and E-Commerce from 21 to 24 August 2017 at the Regional Training Centre in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

The Experts from the WCO provided detailed information and explanations on Digital Customs and its various facets, in particular the implementation/consolidation of electronic services, Single Window and harmonization of data and messaging standards in accordance with the WCO Data Model. 

For more details please visit: http://www.wcoomd.org/en/media/newsroom/2017/august/western-and-central-africa-region-moves-ahead-on-digital-customs-and-ecommerce.aspx


5. WCO Supports Pakistan in Implementing Post Clearance Audit

Under the auspices of the WCO-HRMC-UNCTAD TFA Implementation Programme, the WCO conducted a PCA diagnostic in Pakistan from 21 to 25 August 2017. The overarching objective of this mission was to conduct a comprehensive review of the current PCA policies, strategy and infrastructure, including implementation processes. The mission originated from bilateral discussions between the WCO and the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) in the margins of the USAID-supported Training for Pakistan Project’s TFA workshop in January 2017.

Read more: http://www.wcoomd.org/en/media/newsroom/2017/september/wco-supports-pakistan-in-implementing-post-clearance-audit.aspx


6. WCO - Mexico and Japan Sign Mutual Administrative Assistance Agreement

On 10 August 2017, the Mexican Tax Administration Service signed an Agreement with Japan on Mutual Assistance and Cooperation in Customs Matters to strengthen existing information exchange schemes and cooperation mechanisms.

Under this Agreement, both countries commit to help each other in combating illegal foreign trade practices, such as undervaluation, by corroborating the authenticity of documents and exchanging information on foreign trade operations, seizures of goods, detection and concealment methods for illicit goods, etc.

Read more at: http://www.wcoomd.org/en/media/newsroom/2017/august/mexico-and-japan-sign-mutual-administrative-assistance-agreement.aspx


7. WCO - Bangladesh Customs Steps Up its Efforts on Air Cargo control

From 1 to 10 August 2017 Bangladesh hosted a Practical Training on Air Cargo Control in the framework of the UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme (CCP) at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport. The training was conducted by WCO training experts and was intended to support the future Air Cargo Control Unit (ACCU) at Dhaka Airport. 

Currently, Airport Control Units established in the framework of the CCP are operational in 4 countries; funding for 11 countries in total has been granted by the donors of this joint UNODC-WCO programme. The implementation of the Container Control Programme in Bangladesh in funded by the Government of Japan.

To read more please visit: http://www.wcoomd.org/en/media/newsroom/2017/august/bangladesh-customs-steps-up-its-efforts-on-air-cargo-control.aspx


8. WCO and World Bank Jointly Support Burundi to Initiate its AEO Programme

The WCO partnered with the World Bank Group to co-facilitate this workshop in an effort to foster cooperation of the WTO Annex D agencies in order to ensure coordinated support to Burundi’s efforts to implement the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation (WTO TFA).

During the workshop the Commissioner-Customs, speaking in the presence of the press, highlighted the importance of the WCO support for the development of his Administration, in particular through the WCO-EAC CREATe project, and urged participants to ensure the success of OBR’s AEO programme and wider consultative efforts.

For more details please visit: http://www.wcoomd.org/en/media/newsroom/2017/july/the-wco-and-the-world-bank-group-jointly-support-burundi.aspx


9. UNECA - Trade between Africa & Arab World Mutually Beneficial for Member Countries

Enhanced trade flows between Africa and the Arab World could significantly elevate their share of the global market, said ECA Deputy Executive Secretary and Chief Economist Abdalla Hamdok this morning in Cairo at the 100th session of the League of Arab States Economic and Social Council.

“Deepening regional integration between Africa and the Arab world, beyond their own mega-regional trade agreements (CFTA and GAFTA), looks very promising, as far as supporting their countries’ diversification and structural transformation efforts are concerned, [and] could contribute to elevating the standing of Africa and the Arab world on the world trade landscape”, said Hamdok.

To read more please visit: https://www.uneca.org/stories/trade-between-africa-arab-world-mutually-beneficial-member-countries-hamdok


10. ECA Unveils Model Law on Transboundary Infrastructure Development in Africa

The Economic Commission for Africa on Thursday unveiled the Model Law that provides a framework for the harmonization of cross-border rules, regulations, laws and policies governing transboundary infrastructure projects in Africa.

The Model Law, unveiled at the annual Nigerian Bar Association conference, is expected to be adopted by African Heads of State and Government at their January Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, paving the way for more transparency, efficiency, and accountability with regards to public and private sector engagement in transboundary infrastructure.

To read more please visit: https://www.uneca.org/stories/eca-unveils-model-law-transboundary-infrastructure-development-africa


10. UNESCAP - New Trust Fund to Build Cooperation between East Asia and Latin America

The Foreign Ministers and Heads of Delegations of the member countries of the Forum for East Asia-Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC), meeting in Busan on August 31, 2017, have agreed to strengthen the interconnectivity between the two regions and broaden the areas of cooperation by establishing a FEALAC Fund.

The FEALAC Fund, unanimously endorsed by the 36 member countries attending the 8th Foreign Minister’s meeting in Busan with expressions of strong support for the role of UN Regional Commissions, will create new opportunities to support enhancement and diversification of trade by promoting innovation and tackling tariff and non-tariff barriers, along with advancing public policies for sustainable growth and development.

To read more please visit: http://www.unescap.org/news/un-escap-welcomes-new-trust-fund-promote-regional-cooperation-between-east-asia-and-latin


12. Bangladesh, Cambodia and China Sign New UN on Digital Trade in Asia-Pacific

Bangladesh, Cambodia and China signed the Framework Agreement on Facilitation of Cross-border Paperless Trade in Asia and the Pacific, a new United Nations treaty aimed at strengthening digital trade in the region.

Open to all 53 ESCAP Member States, this unprecedented regional treaty illustrates Asia and the Pacific’s leadership in adopting innovative trade facilitation measures. It will provide the foundation for participating countries in the region to cooperate and accelerate progress in achieving paperless trade across borders, cut trade time and costs, and ultimately boost economic competiveness.

To read more please visit: http://www.unescap.org/news/bangladesh-cambodia-and-china-sign-new-un-treaty-strengthen-digital-trade-asia-pacific





13. ICAO - Deposit of Thailand’s Instrument of Accession: Montreal Convention of 1999

On 3 August 2017, at ICAO Headquarters, His Excellency Dr. Vijavat Isarabhakdi, Ambassador of Thailand to Canada and the State’s Permanent Representative to ICAO, deposited, on behalf of his Government, the instrument of accession of Thailand to the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air, done at Montreal on 28 May of 1999. It will enter into force for Thailand on 2 October 2017.

The Montreal Convention of 1999 facilitates the use of simplified and modernized documents (electronic records) of carriage (passenger tickets; air waybills), permitting substantive operational savings for operators and the ability to manage risks more efficiently through the use of electronically produced and simplified documents of carriage – especially in the air cargo field.

For more details please visit: https://www.icao.int/Newsroom/Pages/Deposit-of-Thailands-instrument-of-accession-Montreal-Convention-of-1999.aspx


14. ICAO - Egyptian Ministerial Event Drives Aviation Security in Africa and Middle East

A high-level Ministerial Conference on Aviation Security held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, has endorsed a new Africa and Middle East Aviation Security Roadmap to align future programmes and targets with ICAO’s new Global Aviation Security Plan (GASeP).

In his address to the 27 attending Ministers and 35 Directors General of Civil Aviation, representing some 45 African and Middle Eastern Member States, ICAO Council President Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu stressed that ICAO’s new Global Aviation Security Plan sets out key priorities where ICAO, States, and others should now focus their urgent attention, resources and efforts, as well as corresponding actions at the global, national and local levels.

To read the report please visit: https://www.icao.int/Newsroom/Pages/Egyptian-Ministerial-event-drives-new-consensus-on-Africa-and-Middle-East-aviation-security-.aspx


15. ICAO Secretary General Promotes Aviation Development in the Republic of Kazakhstan

Highlighting that only 5% of annual global development financing currently supports aviation infrastructure or related projects, ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu delivered a determined message to Kazakhstan’s political leaders last week on the need to prioritize air transport development in the years ahead and optimize the tremendous opportunities for economic development inherent in projected air transport growth.

To read more please visit: https://www.icao.int/Newsroom/Pages/ICAO-Secretary-General-promotes-aviation-development-priorities-during-high-level-mission-to-the-Republic-of-Kazakhstan.aspx





16. UNCTAD - Connecting the Dots for Sustainable Development

Recent years have witnessed a rapid growth in electronic commerce as both consumers and enterprises go online to find what they need. At UNCTAD, we estimate that global e-commerce grew from $16 trillion in 2013 to $22 trillion in 2015, at a time when world production and trade grew very slowly.

To make e-commerce a vehicle for sustainable development we need to connect the dots. There is a need to bring all relevant stakeholders together - as opposed to continuing our bad habit of working in silos - and to work simultaneously across different policy areas.

Read more at: http://unctad.org/en/pages/newsdetails.aspx?OriginalVersionID=1534&Sitemap_x0020_Taxonomy=UNCTAD%20Blogs;#20;#UNCTAD Home;#2140;#e-Trade for All


17. ICAO - Leaders Focus on Emissions Challenges for Asia-Pacific in Mongolia Event

In his keynote address to the approximately 300 delegates in attendance, President Aliu further highlighted the need to manage demand against capacity of airport and Air Traffic Management (ATM) systems, the pressing need for APAC States to implement the Safety Enhancement Initiatives (SEIs) set out by its Regional Aviation Safety Group (RASG), challenges to infrastructure and other investors posed by unstable regulatory environments, and insufficient training capacity for skilled aviation professionals, amongst other priorities.

Meetings which focused around the need for more concrete State infrastructure commitments, and related ICAO compliance and aviation development priorities, were conducted. 

Read more at: https://www.icao.int/Newsroom/Pages/ICAO-leaders-focus-on-aviation-safety-security-capacity-and-emissions-challenges-for-the-Asia-Pacific-at-special-Mongolia.aspx


18. UNFCC – German Government Uses UN-Certified Carbon Credits to Offset Travel

The German government is compensating for the climate footprint of all its official travel by acquiring UN-certified carbon offsets and has launched a tender process — open until 16 August 2017 — to purchase more than 235,000 credits to offset last year’s emissions from business travel.

The transport sector is responsible for approximately 23% of total energy-related CO2 global emissions, and the German government wants to do its bit to tackle the problem by making use of credits obtained from projects that are certified according to UN rules under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).

To read more please visit: http://newsroom.unfccc.int/climate-action/german-government-uses-un-carbon-credits-to-offset-staff-travel/


19. UNESCAP - First Asia-Pacific Ministerial Summit on the Environment 

The Asia-Pacific Ministerial Summit on the Environment have met in Bangkok from 5 to 8 September 2017, jointly organized by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and UN Environment.

For the first time, the Summit brought together two UN ministerial-level meetings on the environment, namely the seventh Ministerial Conference on Environment and Development in Asia and the Pacific, and the second session of UN Environment’s Forum of Ministers and Environment Authorities of Asia Pacific.

Read more at: http://www.unescap.org/news/first-asia-pacific-ministerial-summit-environment


The initiative, entitled ‘ICC-WTO Small Business Champions’, will provide a platform for companies and private sector organisations around the world to propose innovative, practical ideas designed to encourage micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to do business across borders.

For more details please visit:  https://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news17_e/bus_16aug17_e.htm



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