As you prepare for a marathon, you will train harder in areas where you are below average. Similarly, developing countries and LDCs need to pay close attention to international trade players, who are often not taken into account, such as SMEs and SMEs. The WTO estimates that direct exports account for only 7.6% of total manufacturing SME sales in developing countries (WTO, World Trade Report, 2016). The WTO, WTO members and other intergovernmental organizations, including the World Bank, the World Customs Organization and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), provide technical assistance to trade facilitation. In July 2014, the WTO announced the creation of a trade facilitation mechanism that helps developing countries and LDCs implement the Trade Facilitation Agreement. The facility came into force on 27 November 2014 with the adoption of the Trade Facilitation Protocol. Bureaucratic delays and "bureaucracy" weigh on traders for cross-border trade. Trade facilitation - the simplification, modernization and harmonization of export and import processes - has therefore become an important issue for the global trading system. According to this reality check, developing countries and LDCs wishing to take advantage of the benefits of the agreement could take full account of the following recommendations: developed countries have consistently advocated trade facilitation reforms. For example, during the global crisis, donor support for trade facilitation was relatively resilient (OECD, 2018). The excellent return on investment in trade facilitation reforms could explain this strong commitment.

Empirical studies have shown that a 1% increase in trade facilitation could result in an increase in world trade of $415 million (Matthias Helble, Catherine L. Mann and John S. Wilson). The trade aid report for 2019 also reaffirms that trade facilitation is the category in which aid-for-trade financing has had the greatest impact. Full implementation of FTAs is estimated to reduce trade costs by an average of 14.3% and boost world trade by up to $1 trillion per year, with the highest growth in the poorest countries. For the first time in the history of the WTO, the implementation of the agreement is directly linked to the country`s ability to do so. A Trade Facilitation Mechanism (TFAF) has been set up to ensure that developing and least developed countries receive the assistance they need to take full advantage of the benefits of the TFA. The second anniversary of the agreement is an excellent time to verify the level of ratification, notification of implementation and transparency of the AFA.

It is estimated that it is in developing and least developed countries, mainly African countries, that trade costs could be significantly reduced.

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