TAIPEI: “Agreement on Trade Facilitation (ATF) is expected to be implemented which means bringing a high boost in Taiwan’s gross domestic product (GDP) by more than US $3.8 billion and an improved efficiency in customs procedures lowering trading costs” said the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA)
The MOEA said that the ATF is expected to take effect in the second half of next year after the 166 WTO members agreed Thursday in Geneva to implement the agreement reached in Bali last year. The ATF, which aims to streamline global customs procedures, including one on management of food stockpiles in the world market, is the first global trade reform agreement.
Citing an assessment made by the Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research, the MOEA said that Taiwan’s total production value is expected to rise US$5.559 billion due to the presence of the ATF, while the country’s exports and imports could be raised by US$3.226 billion and US$2.794 billion respectively. The MOEA said that as the ATF does not involve any law changes, the agreement needs no ratification by the Legislative Yuan.
The ATF has 24 provisions, which include important trade issues, including freedom of transit, formalities connected with imports and exports and transit and movement of goods under customs control intended for import.
The trade reform pact also includes border agency cooperation, the release and clearance of goods, and measures to enhance impartiality, non-discrimination and transparency.
The WTO members had been in talks on the ATF from 2004 until 2013 and a ministerial conference held in Bali adopted the text Dec. 6, 2013.