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Trade Facilitation – Opening Doors All Around the World

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International trade is ever-changing. Billions of products are bought and sold daily and markets emerge in the blink of an eye. It is a complex industry that can open a whole new world of opportunities for the smallest of countries.  

We’ve been hearing a lot about trade facilitation after The World Trade Organization (WTO) international trade pact known as the “Bali package” launched. The recent changes noted in the Bali package indicate that all WTO’s 159 member nations will move to handle trade facilitation the same way. So how does this package benefit importers, exporters, companies and commerce? It’s all about moving products beyond the borders. The WTO is working to reduce customs delays, streamline shipments and improve trade with developing countries. Companies of all sizes are shipping more and they’re shipping all over the world.

FedEx Corporation Chairman and CEO, Fredrick W. Smith, commented at the Trans-Pacific Maritime (TPM) conference that “all of us must redouble our efforts to move our governments toward trade liberalization.” He also encouraged the WTO’s efforts stating “while certainly not comprehensive, its goal is to make global trade simpler, more transparent, and more predictable.”

I was in Phoenix, Arizona speaking on a panel at the Commercial Real Estate Development Association’s “E.Con” conference talking about e-commerce logistics and the role of 3PL providers. The timing of our discussion was ideal, because one of the six measures passed in the Bali agreement focused on promoting the use of electronic payments. That’s tremendous progress because it has the potential to greatly benefit e-commerce companies by accelerating the buying and selling of goods through easier electronic payments.  

As e-commerce expands, companies that know how to navigate evolving trade regulations will benefit most from the Bali decisions. That’s where FedEx can help. FedEx Trade Networks Trade Services simplifies global shipping and provides the latest duty and tax information. Our Trade and Customs Advisory Services (TCAS) team offers advice on all aspects of international trade regulations, both within the U.S. and on a worldwide basis. The WorldTariff® specialists continuously collect data from the world's customs authorities, standardize the information and translate it into English.

It’s exciting to see the changes made to trade around the world, including the Bali package, WTO’s ongoing efforts and the advancement in e-commerce.

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To learn more about the Bali package, including highlights from the conference and the full details, visit https://mc9.wto.org/.

For information on the Brookings Institute white paper, Supporting the Internet as a Platform for International Trade, courtesy of FedEx Trade Networks, visit http://news.van.fedex.com/brookings-study-recommends-trade-policy-reforms

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