IATA & UNECE sign MoU to boost developing nations

The MoU aims to ultimately help create growth and new jobs.
Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO.
Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO.

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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen their support for developing countries seeking to implement the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement.

This trade agreement promises enormous potential for countries to reduce transport costs by up to 10% through more efficient facilitation, making them more competitive in the global economy.

Specifically for air cargo, countries implementing the agreement will need to build capacity to facilitate automated and smart border solutions and secure supply chain processes.

Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO, explained: Through the MoU, IATA and UNECE will help developing countries implement the relevant measures to realize the costs savings.

“The Air Cargo industry ships around 35% of global trade by value. For up to 90% of the ‘transport’ time the goods may actually be on the ground waiting to be processed.

"Aligning regulation and procedures with global standards and best practices has the potential to deliver major efficiency gains.

"That’s the aim of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement which presents a great opportunity for our industry to reduce these delays and costs, particularly in developing countries.

"Together with UNECE, we will work with developing countries to simplify their procedures and enhance their facilities. This is a win-win scenario for everyone – the industry, economies and local communities.” 

Christian Friis Bach, UNECE executive secretary, commented: “UNECE, through our UN Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT), has worked with the business community for many years to develop trade facilitation recommendations and standards that reduce the cost of doing business.

"An excellent example of the application of these instruments is the IATA e-Freight Programme which reflects UNECE standards.

"This MoU with IATA will strengthen the implementation of our standards in developing and least developed countries, and as a consequence, help create growth and new jobs.” 

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