For the first time since the World Trade Organisation (WTO) was founded in 1995, a new global trade agreement has entered into force.
The agreement on trade, named the ‘Trade Facilitation Agreement’, entered into force on Wednesday after Rwanda, Oman, Chad and Jordan approved it, the last of 112 countries to do so. The government estimates that it may provide an increase in global GDP of 0.5% per year if the agreement is fully implemented in all WTO member countries.
The trade agreement will lead to more transparency, and a greater amount of information becoming available; fewer forms, shorter queues, less bureaucracy, and less corruption.
‘It is important that the world economy makes it easier to trade across borders’, said the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Børge Brende.
Negotiations had lasted for ten years, and were finalised on the 7th December, 2013, when the WTO Ministerial Conference in Bali adopted the agreement itself.
Norway approved the agreement in December 2015, and must now comply with the mandatory obligations of the contract. Norway has also granted 70 million to support developing countries’ efforts to ratify the treaty, according to the government.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today