e-Flash No. 178 - 4 July 2018


Member Payment Procedure Changes at FIATA

FIATA members be advised that the payment procedure via credit card on the FIATA website as well as payments directly to our bank account via our website have a processing duration of one week.

Please also be informed that it is of utmost importance to always state the company name and invoice number when remitting payments to the FIATA Secretariat. Should you have any questions please do contact the secretariat at info@fiata.com for further clarification.



World MSME Day: FIATA Participates in WTO Panel to Promote Trade

Addressing a workshop organized by the Informal Working Group on MSMEs (micro, small and medium-sized enterprises) on world MSME Day (27 June), Director General Roberto Azevêdo said that efforts by many WTO members have brought the MSME perspective to the fore. He cited progress in working with partners to increase trade finance opportunities for MSMEs. Representing FIATA President Babar Badat, FIATA Director General Hans Günther Kersten participated as a panellist and in a presentation underlined the importance of the logistics industry as an engine for trade also for MSMEs.

FIATA also highlighted how the implementation of the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement will ease small businesses’ participation in global markets by cutting trade costs and reducing administrative burdens.

Further details of the event and the WTO DG’s speech can be found here - https://www.wto.org/english/news_e/spra_e/spra227_e.htm


WTO Members Take Stock of Progress on Implementing Trade Facilitation Agreement

The implementation of the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) is well under way with progress varying among different economies, WTO members heard on 26 June in Geneva at the launch of a new publication and at a meeting of the Committee on Trade Facilitation. Continued cooperation among all stakeholders remains key to ensuring that the Agreement’s benefits of easier and less costly movement of goods are enjoyed by all, Director General Roberto Azevêdo said.

"Almost 85 per cent of WTO members have now completed their domestic ratification processes. This is great progress, but of course there is more to do," DG Azevêdo said at the launch of a new report entitled "Trade Facilitation and the Global Economy" published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

For more details, please visit: https://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news18_e/fac_26jun18_e.htm


WTO Members Review Four Regional Trade Agreements

WTO members reviewed the Canada-European Union, Canada-Ukraine, Costa Rica-Colombia, and EU-San Marino trade agreements at a meeting of the Committee on Regional Trade Agreements (CRTA) on 19-20 June. The Committee also adopted a new template for members to notify changes to existing RTAs.

The Committee adopted a new template for members to notify changes to their existing RTAs. The notification format will be sent to the Committee on Trade and Development (CTD) and the Councils for Trade in Goods and Services for adoption.

For more details, please visit: https://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news18_e/rta_19jun18_e.htm


UNCTAD - Ireland’s President Lauds Port Managers Programme

President Michael D. Higgins welcomes managers from UNCTAD’s Train for Trade port management programme at his residence in Dublin. Senior port managers from developing countries who are passing on their expertise to colleagues met Ireland’s President Michael D. Higgins in Dublin, Ireland, on 21 June during a week-long Training of Trainers workshop .

Mr. Higgins welcomed the managers from ports in Indonesia, Ghana, Malaysia, Nigeria, and the Philippines which are members of the English-speaking network of UNCTAD’s Train for Trade port management programme. Prospective members from Serbia and a former member from Namibia were also present.

For more details please visit: http://unctad.org/en/pages/newsdetails.aspx?OriginalVersionID=1788&Sitemap_x0020_Taxonomy=UNCTAD%20Home;#1653;#TrainForTrade

UNCTAD - The Cost of a Full Trade War on Tariffs

Trade war tariffs are based on the “optimum tariff” theory. Standard trade theory indicates that, by unilaterally introducing tariffs, a large country not only limits its imports from the rest of the world, but also reduces the price of its imports relative to its exports, thereby benefiting from an improvement in its terms of trade.

These unilateral tariffs can be calculated by estimating the leverage each country has on international markets, depending on whether its trade policies are able to influence international prices (“market power” in economic jargon).

For more details, please visit: http://unctad.org/en/pages/newsdetails.aspx?OriginalVersionID=1783&Sitemap_x0020_Taxonomy=UNCTAD%20Home


UNCTAD - Trade Negotiations: Next Frontier for Artificial Intelligence

With international trade agreements becoming increasingly complex, UNCTAD is working with the Brazilian arm of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC Brazil) to use artificial intelligence (AI) to help trade negotiators, especially those representing less powerful nations.

“Artificial intelligence could help reduce the complexity of information and level the playing field between big and small players in trade negotiations,” said Bonapas Onguglo, in charge of UNCTAD’s trade analysis branch.

For more details, please visit: http://unctad.org/en/pages/newsdetails.aspx?OriginalVersionID=1782&Sitemap_x0020_Taxonomy=UNCTAD%20Home

UNCTAD - Forum highlights ‘inclusive trade’ for World’s Poorest Countries

With a share of global trade of less than 1%, fresh ideas are needed to bring the world’s poorest countries into the international trading system. Better trade that boosts prosperity in the world’s poorest countries depends on new “inclusive” policies that prioritize women, young people, small businesses, technological upgrading and lowering barriers, a forum hosted by the World Trade Organization has heard.

The first-ever Global Forum on Inclusive Trade for Least Developed Countries (LDCs) brought together representatives from the 42 LDCs that are also WTO members, as well as from countries that have recently graduated from LDC status, heads of government, international organizations, the private sector and non-governmental organizations.

For more details, please visit: http://unctad.org/en/pages/newsdetails.aspx?OriginalVersionID=1781&Sitemap_x0020_Taxonomy=UNCTAD%20Home;#14;#OSG;#567;#Enhanced%20Integrated%20Framework;#1392;#Africa,%20LDCs,%20LLDCs%20and%20Special%20Programmes


WCO Private Sector Consultative Group (PSCG) Discusses Enabling Technologies

The Private Sector Consultative Group (PSCG) met for its 44th session at the WCO headquarters on 25 and 26 June with the participation of delegates from 14 PSCG members. The group reviewed ongoing work, discussed future activities and prepared for the PSCG Dialogue with the WCO Policy Commission Members on the 27th June 2018.

Amongst others topics, during the meeting the work deployed by the Cross-border E-Commerce Working Group was reviewed and it was decided to implement a mechanism to broadly communicate among their members the results of the WCO work on E-Commerce on a timely basis. In addition, an initiative to pilot exchanges of information between the Private Sector and Customs and the setup of Regional Private Sector Groups (RPSG) in the WCO regions was discussed.

For more details, please visit: http://www.wcoomd.org/en/media/newsroom/2018/june/wco-pscg-discusses-emerging-enabling-technologies.aspx


Customs Administrations in APAC Discuss Compliance Through WCO Tools

The WCO has organized a regional workshop on its Compliance and Enforcement Package (CEP) for administrations in the Asia/Pacific region.  The CEP was designed to assist Customs in enhancing their compliance and enforcement procedures by following the guidelines laid down in several WCO tools and instruments.

During the workshop, participants discussed their respective regional and national priorities, including areas considered as high-risk or on which the WCO has recently been working, such as trafficking in cultural goods and illicit financial flows.  Participants were also given the opportunity to share good practices for and experiences of operational planning in a session held with the support of the RILO A/P.

For more details, please visit: http://www.wcoomd.org/en/media/newsroom/2018/june/customs-administrations-in-the-asia-pacific-region-gather-to-discuss-compliance.aspx

West African Experts Meeting to Brainstorm ECOWAS Potential into AfCFTA

The Government of Benin, in collaboration with the Sub-Regional Office for West Africa of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), has launched the activities of the Ad hoc Expert Group Meeting, under the theme: “Implications of ECOWAS potential expansion and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)”, in Cotonou, on Monday, June 25.

This Ad hoc Meeting, which holds upon the signing of the AfCFTA by 44 countries of the 55 Member-States of the African Union, and with the intention expressed by some North African countries to join the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), aims to carry out further in-depth reflection on the likely economic and socio-economic implications of these major projects.

For more details, please visit: https://www.uneca.org/stories/cotonou-west-african-experts-meeting-brainstorm-implications-ecowas-potential-expansion-and


Online Platform Launched for implementation AfCFTA

The African Trade Policy Centre (ATPC) launches its knowledge platform coming after the historic signing of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). The online platform will provide daily monitoring of national, regional and international trade policy news, current affairs, and related developments of interest to Africa’s business, trade and development communities.  This service is provided in both English and French.  Progress in the implementation of the AfCFTA will be a special focus.

More broadly the platform will support the development of technical capacities in African trade policy through online discussions, publications, tracking of key events and important conferences, and e-learning courses.  Industrializing through trade and skills for modelling trade policy scenarios and outcomes are among the e-learning courses that are expected to be made available online, in close collaboration with UNECA’s training arm, the Dakar-based Institute for Economic Development and Planning.

For more details, please visit: https://www.uneca.org/stories/online-platform-launched-support-implementation-african-continental-free-trade-agreement


Synergies between AfCFTA and Tripartite FTA

Addis Ababa, 18 June 2018 (ECA) - The Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa, Vera Songwe has lauded the representatives of the Tripartite group comprising COMESA, EAC and SADC for their work on synergies between the Tripartite Free Trade Area and the African Continental Free Trade Area – AfCFTA, signed this year by African Union Member States.

“The negotiated AfCFTA text, the ideas put on paper and signed by our heads of state in March germinated from the good work of the Tripartite negotiators”, she said, and added: “The shape and structure of the AfCFTA and many of its solutions, from Non-Tariff Barriers to trade remedies, were formed here in the Tripartite negotiations.”

For more details, please visit: https://www.uneca.org/stories/synergies-between-afcfta-and-tripartite-fta-will-benefit-africa%E2%80%99s-traders-and-consumers-says


UNECA - Africa’s Railway Renaissance Needs Public Private Partnerships

Experts from Africa’s rail sector gathered this week in Johannesburg to discuss rail transport and how it can be developed to support the grand design for growth on the continent.

Addressing the gathering, Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), said that economic development in Africa needs an efficient, expanded, rail network and described the current condition of existing railway infrastructure and rolling stock in many countries as “sub-optimal.”

For more details, please visit: https://www.uneca.org/stories/africa%E2%80%99s-railway-renaissance-needs-public-private-partnerships


Africa’s Railway Renaissance needs Public Private Partnerships

Experts from Africa’s rail sector gathered in Johannesburg to discuss rail transport and how it can be developed to support the grand design for growth on the continent.

Addressing the gathering, Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), said that economic development in Africa needs an efficient, expanded, rail network and described the current condition of existing railway infrastructure and rolling stock in many countries as “sub-optimal.”

For more details, please visit: https://www.uneca.org/stories/africa%E2%80%99s-railway-renaissance-needs-public-private-partnerships



IATA Statement: Airlines Welcome Vote To Expand Heathrow

The International Air Transport Association welcomed the UK House of Commons vote in favour of the National Policy Statement (NPS) on airports. This opens the way to the long-overdue expansion of Heathrow airport.

"After years of delay, the approval of the NPS is a momentous day for air travel not just in the UK, but for the global air transport network. This decision will create new jobs and new economic opportunities in the UK and strengthen ties to growing export markets.”

For more details, please visit: https://www.iata.org/pressroom/pr/Pages/2018-06-26-01.aspx


Press Statement: IATA Declaration on Privatisation of Aeroports de Paris

In a press statement IATA expresses the opinion that privatization of Aeroports de Paris is a highly significant step which must not be taken lightly by the French government. The motives behind the privatization must be to improve the experience for passengers and the efficiency for airlines, not to raise the maximum revenue. The current proposals gave IATA cause for concern.

In IATA’s view the possibility of the Privatization Agreement lasting up to 70 years would be a mistake, removing the flexibility to respond to market conditions which could not be predicted over such a long period of time. This timeframe introduced risks, the consequences of which would ultimately be paid for by passengers and airlines. This would also damage French economic competitiveness.

For more details, please visit: https://www.iata.org/pressroom/pr/Pages/2018-06-21-02.aspx


ICAO Council Reaches Landmark Decision on Aviation Emissions Offsetting

The ICAO Council made important headway on the key international standards supporting the UN aviation agency’s Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation, or ‘CORSIA’. 

Its adoption of the First Edition of Annex 16, Volume IV, to the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention), comes less than two years after ICAO’s 192 Member States achieved their historic agreement on CORSIA at the Organization’s 39th Assembly, an emissions-offsetting first for any global industry sector. 

For more details, please visit: https://www.icao.int/Newsroom/Pages/ICAO-Council-reaches-landmark-decision-on-aviation-emissions-offsetting.aspx  



United Nations Economic Commission for Africa: Coherent, Integrated Policies Needed to Implement SDGs in North Africa

The ECA Office for North Africa has organised on 26-27 June in Rabat a meeting on SDG (Sustainable Development Goal) implementation in North Africa. The event took place with the participation of about fifty experts and representatives from the Sub-Region (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, the Sudan and Tunisia).

Participants have taken stock of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in North Africa, the progress made in Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania and Tunisia in this field, the challenges they are facing as well as the lessons learned and good practices the region could benefit from.

Read more at: https://www.uneca.org/stories/coherent-integrated-policies-needed-implement-sdgs-north-africa-eca


Asia-Pacific Green Investment Meeting Charts Progress on Unlocking Climate Finance

Countries in Asia and the Pacific face requirements to the scale of multi-trillion dollars over the next 20 years to finance the transition to low-carbon, climate friendly, sustainable, and resilient economies as set out in the Paris Agreement, according to the International Finance Corporation.

Regional experts gathered in Singapore for the first Asia-Pacific Green Investment Catalyst (GIC) and Green Finance Conference to discuss how to bridge this gap and explore how Asian capital markets can be best leveraged to support sustainable and climate-aligned economic growth in the region and launch several facilities and initiatives.

Read more at: https://unfccc.int/news/asia-pacific-green-investment-meeting-charts-progress-on-unlocking-climate-finance


UN Climate Change Annual Report 2017 Website Now Live

The Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UN Climate Change) launched a web version of its first-ever Annual Report.  The new website includes videos, photos and infographics illustrating the key 2017 achievements and pointing to the future of the climate change process.  The report was initially launched on 30 April at the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn.

The report covers many areas of the 2017 work of UN Climate Change, which includes the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement, as well as their bodies, institutional arrangements, organs and the secretariat.

Read more at: https://unfccc.int/news/un-climate-change-annual-report-2017-website-now-live


UN Climate Chief Calls on Oil Producers to Undertake Rapid Energy Transition

UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa called on oil producing countries to make the challenging but necessary transition to renewable energy in order to enable a low-carbon future and prevent the worst ravages of climate change, which include ever more severe and frequent droughts, flooding and storms caused by heat-trapping greenhouse gases.

Speaking at the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) International Seminar in Vienna, Austria, Patricia Espinosa said that this transition is “challenging but absolutely necessary”. “We continue to see the impact that human-caused climate change has throughout the world. It’s clear we need change. The Paris Agreement represents the best way forward. It has everything we need to address climate change.”

Read more at: https://unfccc.int/news/un-climate-chief-calls-on-oil-producers-to-undertake-rapid-ambitious-energy-transition


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