Mike Moore's speeches
Renato Ruggiero's speeches,
He said that as the classical trade barriers - tariffs and quantitative restrictions -
have come down to the lowest levels ever as a result of the Uruguay Round, attention has
turned to what he called invisible costs resulting from documentation
requirements, procedural delays, and lack of transparency and predictability in the
application of government rules and regulations.
Mr. Ruggiero said he
called these costs invisible because they are not part of governments' actual
commercial policy, but that they are surely not invisible for traders and
consumers. He said that in many cases, these invisible costs exceed the
actual level of duties paid on the products.
added that as tariffs and traditional non-tariff measures have been sharply reduced
everywhere, procedural barriers to cross-border transactions have become crucial
determinants of investment decisions by foreign investors.
Ruggiero expressed confidence that the Symposium will place WTO Members in a better
position to move to the phase of analytical work on trade facilitation, in order to assess
the scope for WTO rules in this area.
WTO has brought some 300 traders and government policymakers together to identify problems
hampering movement of goods across borders at a Symposium on Trade Facilitation on 9-10
March 1998 in its new conference centre. It is an initiative of the WTO Council for Trade
in Goods, which was instructed by the Singapore Ministerial Conference to undertake
exploratory and analytical work, drawing on the work of other relevant international
organizations, on the simplification of trade procedures in order to assess the scope for
WTO rules in this area.
of the world's leading corporations are presenting the practical problems traders face
when moving goods across borders. Among the panellists at the Symposium are
representatives from the United States' Federal Express, General Motors, General Electric
Information Systems and Mattel; the Netherlands' Shell; Switzerland's Gondrand AG; India's
Lemuir Group; United Kingdom's SITPRO and Marinade Ltd.; Xerox Brazil; the Bank of
Botswana; and Malaysia's Multimedia Development Corporation. Also participating are the
following industry groups: the Federation of German Industries, French Wine and Spirits
Exporters, Federation of Dutch Entrepreneurs and the British Services Association.
participants include the International Chamber of Commerce, International Air Transport
Association (IATA), International Chamber of Shipping, International Road Transport Union,
the International Union of Railways, Lima Chamber of Commerce, Zimbabwe National Chamber
of Commerce and FIATA.
The full text of Mr.