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Ottawa, November 27, 2013 – In preparation of the upcoming Ministerial Conference in Bali, the B20 Coalition calls on the G20 leaders and all WTO member nations to push ahead in the negotiations and conclude an ambitious Trade Facilitation Agreement. This is a key deliverable of central importance for the international economy.

B20 Coalition President Perrin Beatty, and President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce states that "such a Trade Facilitation Agreement will provide tangible improvements to industry and trade. Customs clearance will be sped up, and the movement of goods will rise." The potential payoffs for the world are substantial and far-reaching: a USD 1 trillion increase in GDP and 20.6 million jobs. Exports of developing countries could rise by approximately USD 570 billion, and exports of developed countries by USD 475 billion, a Peterson Institute study concluded.

The G20 should take a leading role in bringing the negotiations to a successful conclusion, which will

  • promote trade by lowering administrative procedures and costs at borders
  • simplify rules and increase transparency, thus facilitating the enforcement of customs services, and
  • save money for companies and consumers by reducing the administrative burden at borders.

Trade facilitation does not alter the market access balance between WTO members. It is an ideal tool to boost growth in a balanced way for all WTO members.

Moreover, we welcome the inclusion of many positive measures in WTO regulations in the draft agreement. For example, documents can be processed in advance (before the mer-chandise arrives), and goods may be released before dues are settled. These measures will prove very beneficial to smoothing production processes across all sectors.

On the other hand, the negotiators are called upon to retouch the simplifying enhancements for "authorized economic operators" (AEOs) that have an approved trust record with the authorities. AEOs merit a further reduction of bureaucratic procedures like the advance notifications for imports and exports. Country-specific customs documents and systems should be complemented by equivalent company documents and systems.

The B20 Coalition members support the work of the negotiators towards: reduction or elimination of fees and charges; right of legal appeal; single administrative window; publication of regulations related to customs procedure; simplified and expedited customs release and clearance procedures; provisions for technical and financial assistance to least developed countries.

The Ninth Ministerial Conference in Bali is scheduled to take place December 3-6, 2013.

About the B20 Coalition

The B20 Coalition brings together the most representative independent business organizations from G20 countries with a shared mission to advocate on behalf of more than 6.5 million businesses of all sectors and sizes. Through this broad base, it provides an invaluable link between governments and the businesses communities in the world's most important economies. This statement is issued in Berlin, Brasilia, Brussels, Buenos Aires, Istanbul, Johannesburg, Madrid, Mexico-City, New Delhi, Ottawa, Paris, Rome, Seoul, Sydney, and Washington DC by the B20 Coalition members.

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B20 Coalition members

Ai Group, Australia · BDI, Germany · BUSA, South Africa · BUSINESSEUROPE, Europe · CCC, Canada · CEOE, Spain · CII, India · CNI, Brazil · Confindustria, Italy · Coparmex, Mexico · FKI, South Korea · MEDEF, France · TÜSİAD, Turkey · UIA, Argentina · US Chamber, USA