ICC Asia-Pacific Trade Facilitation workshop in Colombo next month

Thursday, 2 October 2014 00:52 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The International Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka (ICCSL), in collaboration with the ICC World Chambers Federation (ICC/WCF), will be conducting the ‘ICC Asia-Pacific Trade Facilitation’ workshop on 19 and 20 November 2014 at the Hotel Hilton. Given the importance and role of global supply chains to growth in world trade and economic recovery, improved and efficient trade facilitation measures are critical to stimulate trade. As stated in the report ‘Payoff from World Trade Agenda’ of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, commissioned by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Research Foundation, a large share of 21st Century trade requires integrated global supply chains that move intermediate and finished goods around the world. This means that in order to remain competitive, businesses must ensure that every stage of the supply chain is fast and efficient. Harmonised and efficient movement of goods boosts competitiveness for all businesses, especially for small- and medium-sized companies and emerging industries. Indeed, research shows that poor logistics directly reduce trade volumes for goods and services alike. Trade facilitation improvements could result in global job gains of 21 million, with developing countries gaining over 18 million jobs and developed countries increasing their workforce by three million. Moreover, a recent ICC survey on border barriers, showed that next to VAT and duty issues, tariff classification uncertainty, unnecessary physical inspections and Customs delays are identified as main impediments to trade. The ICC states that it is committed to helping bridge the gap between Government and business to insure trade flows more efficiently. ICC, through a number of tools and services such as ATA Carnets and ICC Customs Guidelines as well as privileged relationship with inter-governmental agencies such as the Asian Development Bank, the World Customs Organisation (WCO) and World Trade Organisation (WTO) helps global business shape the rules and regulations that govern trade and trade practices. The ICC Asia-Pacific Trade Facilitation Regional Workshop will provide a unique opportunity to bring together business, Customs and other Government officials, international organisations and operational customs and trade experts from the Asia-Pacific region and all around the world for an important dialogue on the most effective means to facilitate the movement of goods and services between countries along supply chains. On 19 November participants will increase their understanding on the simplification of Customs and other border procedures affecting international trade. Panel discussions about, among other things, global value chains, business-Customs cooperation, single window initiatives and trusted traders initiatives, will examine the latest developments and best practices. On 20 November participants will zoom in on the opportunities of the ATA-system. The ATA Carnet is an international customs document - a passport for goods, a passport to world trade. It permits the duty and tax-free temporary export and import of the three main categories of goods traded worldwide: commercial samples, professional equipment and goods for trade fairs and exhibitions. The ATA Carnet System is currently in force in 74 countries throughout the world. ATA Carnets are offered by chambers of commerce and similar business organisations (national guaranteeing organisations) to traders, sales professionals, exhibitors and other international business travellers. In difficult times, when companies need to find new markets for their products, the ATA Carnet facilitates their task: one single document allows them to move their goods across frontiers for up to one year. More than 165,000 Carnets are issued every year for goods valued at $ 25 billion. The workshop is targeting practitioners, experts and business leaders, policymakers, lawyers, chamber staff involved in trade facilitation and Customs and other Government officials, International Governmental Organisations and academia. The keynote address will be delivered by International Monetary Cooperation/Deputy Minister of Finance and Planning Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama and a nominee of the World Customs Organisation. There will be other speakers from the region in addition to those from Sri Lanka.