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Performances, statements

Performance of Lami dd. June 24, 2011


«WTO measures on assistance to trade will reduce trading costs and make active trade»



 Pascal_Lami The general director of WTO Pascal Lami in the performance at meeting of the World customs organization in Brussels on June, 24th, 2011, has told that realization of measures on assistance to trade which were discussed in Geneva, can lower the general trading costs almost for 10 percent. «Each superfluous day demanded for import or export of the ready goods, reduces trade approximately by 4 %». Therefore assistance to trade within the limits of the Doha round will have «huge value for our trading community and, in particular, for many our small and average enterprises». It has highly appreciated close cooperation between the WTO and the World customs organization, in particular, in the technical help, and has offered the further cooperation in approach use «Made in the world» to an estimation of the international trading streams. He told as following:


Dear Chairman,

Ladies and gentlemen!


Let me first express my gratitude to Mikurija-san for his kind invitation to this meeting. The partnership between our institutes always was fruitful and we managed to deduce it on higher level thanking its management. Considering the important contribution of this organization to World Trade Organization work, my visit here has ripened for a long time already.


The world customs organization has played the important role in WTO activity, both in usual work, and at current negotiations of the Doha round.


From your permission I would like to tell some words about a state of affairs within the limits of the Doha round of negotiations. Since 2001 of member country of the WTO have spent the big work in a direction of the universal agreement in the Fur-coat which deals more than 20 important questions, since services and finishing fishery subsidizing. Negotiations about 80 % of discussed questions have reached level of a maturity which will allow us to conclude them during very short period of time. Besides, it is known that, unfortunately, progress has stopped because of disagreements of several members in key area of access on the markets of the industrial goods.


Since April, I advised members on elements of a smaller package, which can be collected by the end of the year to concentrate on the least developed members of the WTO. It would be concrete result in sphere of development of the Doha round. It would be given also by a signal of confidence of the rest of packages at later stage when priorities of negotiations of some of our members will be better levelled.


One area which is discussed now within the limits of a December package, assistance to trade which has the big system value for all our members, truly mutually advantageous agreement is. Here again I would like to express gratitude that the World customs organization acts as the important partner which gives valuable support to WTO negotiations in this area, and also the corresponding technical help.


Especially it would be desirable to recognize the irreplaceable contribution of the World customs organization to the program of the WTO according to requirements of assistance to trade. Within the limits of this program the technical help has been given nearby to 100 developing and least developed countries for maintenance of their more effective participation in negotiations.


As a result of this support, we see increase and expansion of participation of the developing and least developed countries in negotiations that, in turn, supports an overall aim of a round of negotiations in the Doha, helping to overcome rupture in development.


I think, the World customs organization is a good place for discussion of huge value for our trading community and, in particular, for many our small and average enterprises which can give assistance to trade. According to recent research OECD, realization of measures on assistance to trade which were discussed in Geneva, can lower a total cost of trade almost for 10 percent. Research also specifies that successfully realized program of assistance increases labor productivity of customs service, improves taxation on trade and involves direct foreign investments. Positive influence appears also on public revenues, in the several countries more than incomes after introduction of customs reforms on assistance to trade have twice increased.


There are considerable possibilities for perfection of all involved parties. In the countries OECD now it is on the average made out about four separate documents, and clearing of the goods on the average occupies ten days at average cost nearby $1100 for the container. While, in some countries of Africa the quantity of documents is almost twice more, and customs clearance of the goods occupies from 32 days (for export) till 38 days (for import) at average cost of delivery of one container from $2000 (for export) and $2500 (for import). The absolute world champion in the field of simplification of procedures of trade is Singapore where four documents are necessary, and the goods are cleared, as a last resort, for five days with average cost nearby $456 for the container. On the other end of a scale there are many developing countries with low level of the incomes, in particular not having a direct outlet to the sea, whose trading expenses can sharply increase in result of necessity of transit moving of the goods automobile or railway transports through territory of the adjoining states, to the nearest international port. According to last researches, each superfluous day demanded for import or export of the ready goods, reduces trade approximately by 4 %.


The barrier for the less competitive world manufacturers and the poorest consumers at a rate of additional operational costs in $1000 or more for each container of the goods which they export or import, it is obviously absurd. In this comparison trading barriers which they face in the basic export markets, in most cases, are much less considerable. And for many of them costs of bad trading clearing impact more, than tariffs for the internal prices for the import goods makes. Assistance to trade is one simple step on reduction of expenses on trade, and also trade development.


During progress on end of the new Agreement on assistance to WTO trade, we hope for continuation of our close cooperation. Now the WTO is engaged in working out of more purposeful technical help to help realization. The given program also will help the countries to receive more purposeful technical help and support for the potential escalating, corresponding to their own requirements. Support from outside the World customs organization will have crucial importance for successful and timely realization of this program.


We will have possibility for the further discussions of assistance to trade and rendering of the technical help on the third Review of the global help of trade which will take place in Geneva on July, 18-19th and where Kumio Mikurija had kindly agreed to take part.


I also would like to take advantage of this possibility to urge to consider the attaches located in Brussell possibilities of the best support of their corresponding countries in WTO work on assistance to trade. Their technical customs knowledge gives the useful help during negotiations, and they will have invaluable value in rendering assistance to the countries in the best sequence and realization of the future obligations on simplification of procedures of trade.


The chairman, allow me to mention also the Harmonized system (HS), customs cost and origin rules, as well as other areas where our cooperation is extremely fruitful, in essence, and in rendering of the technical help.


HS is very important tool for the WTO. These are nomenclatures used by members of the WTO for the purpose of planning of the concessions on the goods. The basic work had been generated both for WTO member-countries, and for Secretary as a result of regular updating HS which should be included in these plans. Besides, HS has been used in some agreements (for example, the Agreement on agriculture and the Agreement on an information technology) to differentiate coverage of the goods.


I wish to underline one area which has crucial value for our work, especially in a context of a present stage of the Doha round of negotiations, area in which the World customs organization has essential technical experience: preferential rules of an origin.


The world customs organization has created recently a database of preferential rules of an origin which covers only rules of an origin of agreements on free trade or other preferential schemes as the general preference system which as told, is simple and convenient in use. This database allows users to compare various rules of an origin of the same goods. Here there is a considerable potential for simplification of problems of exporters in the developing countries especially least developed. The last constantly support the simplified system of rules of an origin which would allow them to understand and observe requirements of rules of an origin, and this database is positive step on a way to this purpose. Therefore our desire to see the given database, connected with a database of not tariff measures developed now the WTO.


In the conclusion, allow me to mention area where I consider that we could strengthen our cooperation, namely in the field of measurement of trading streams on the added cost, instead of total number as it takes place today. Business has different stages of a chain of activity more and more so that to optimize cost. A label «Made in a certain country» on the back party a product actually it is necessary to read as «Made in the world». This new global reality forces us to reconsider ways of the analysis and international trade measurement. Now the international trading streams are calculated through attributing of full commercial cost of a product by last country of origin. It demands changes. The data available today not to the full reflects a real picture of international trade in the global world. I believe that we can make much together on this front. Let me invite you to visit our web site «Made in the world» and share your thought with us.


Dear Chairman, the WTO appreciates partnership with the World customs organization and consequently, we will continue to search for more effective ways for expansion and strengthening of these relations.