The objective of the TFAF is to help developing countries and least-developed countries (LDCs) implement the WTO's Trade Facilitation Agreement for expediting the movement of goods across borders. The Facility became operational when the General Council adopted the Trade Facilitation Agreement Protocol which inserts the new Agreement into the WTO legal framework. The Trade Facilitation Agreement will enter into force once two-thirds of WTO members have completed their domestic ratification process.
The DDAGTF finances a wide range of trade-related technical assistance activities to help developing countries and LDCs improve their participation in the Doha Round, the latest round of trade negotiations among WTO members.
“Austria's generosity demonstrates its commitment to help developing and least-developed countries benefit more fully from the multilateral trading system and better integrate into the global economy. This first contribution in 2015 to the TFAF is very welcome as a sign of confidence in the WTO's capacity to deliver for developing countries,” declared WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo.
Austria's Vice-Chancellor and Federal Minister of Science, Research and Economy, Reinhold Mitterlehner, stated: “Austria believes that trade can considerably contribute to sustainable development by stimulating economic growth and reducing poverty. In addition, the Trade Facilitation Agreement will have a significant impact on improving the flow of trade and will help to create an enhanced investment climate. These contributions to the DDAGTF and the TFAF demonstrate Austria’s continued commitment to supporting developing countries in expanding their trade capacities and integrating into regional and global value chains.”
Since 2000, Austria has donated to the DDAGTF a total of EUR 3,855,976 (CHF 3,988,348).