Commonwealth Trade Hot Topics

The Trade Hot Topics series provides concise and informative analyses of various trade and trade-related issues which are prepared both by Commonwealth Secretariat and international experts.


Trade Facilitation

Facilitating Trade for Development

Trade facilitation has become a hot topic in the context of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Doha Development Round of multilateral trade negotiations. Humble, technical issues concerning goods in transit, fees and formalities for exports and imports, and customs procedures have suddenly moved onto the global political agenda. During 2005, the temperature of the multilateral trade negotiations on these and related subjects will undoubtedly heat up even more. Many Commonwealth governments will be faced by the need to re-evaluate their approaches to cross-border trade procedures. This issue of Trade Hot Topics examines the topic of trade facilitation, the likely scope of the WTO negotiations on this theme, and suggests some ways in which broader approaches to facilitating trade could generate significant benefits and contribute to economic development – especially for less-advantaged countries.


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