3 March 1998
Major Companies to participate in WTO Trade Facilitation Symposium
Some of the world's leading corporations will present the practical problems traders face when moving goods across borders during the WTO Symposium on Trade Facilitation on 9-10 March 1998 at the new WTO conference facility.
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.
NGO 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 WTO Director-General, Mr. Renato Ruggiero, will give the opening address. The Symposium, to be chaired by WTO Deputy Director-General Anwarul Hoda, will also feature presentations by the following intergovernmental organizations: the UN Economic Commission for Europe, UNCTAD, the World Customs Organization, the International Trade Centre UNCTAD/WTO, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the WTO.
The WTO Symposium aims to identify the main areas where traders face obstacles when moving goods across borders by providing a direct interface between the practical level (traders) and the trade policy level (officials in capitals and in Geneva). It is intended to place WTO members in a position to move to the phase of analytical work on trade facilitation, in order to assess the scope for WTO rules in this area, as set out in the WTO Singapore Ministerial Declaration.
Attached is the full agenda of the Symposium, including the complete list of speakers. For more information, please contact Mr. Markus Jelitto of the WTO, tel. 739.5885/fax: 739.5770.
Purpose: The objective of the Symposium on Trade Facilitation is to help identify the main areas where traders face obstacles when moving goods across borders. The Symposium will provide a direct interface between the practical level (traders) and the trade policy level (officials in capitals and in Geneva) in this respect and is intended to place WTO Members in a position to move to the phase of analytical work on trade facilitation, in order to assess the scope for WTO rules in this area, as set out in the Singapore Declaration.
Organizational Matters: The Symposium will take place in the new WTO Council Room. The Director-General will deliver an opening address. Deputy Director-General Mr. Anwarul Hoda will chair the Symposium. back to top
Monday, 9 March 1998
Chairman: Mr. Anwarul Hoda, Deputy Director-General, WTO
Mr. Renato Ruggiero, Director-General, WTO
I. Introduction of the trade transaction process
overview of the different stages of the transaction chain.
Mr. Fermin Cuza, Mattel Inc., USA
Mr. Michael Doran, SITPRO Chief Executive, UK
II. Issue-oriented presentations by the private sector and other experts
In the four Panels of this section, speakers will give short (10-15 min.) presentations to deepen the understanding of the main issues in the respective sector, and to outline the most pressing problems for business in the respective area. At the end of each Panel, the moderator will open the floor for a limited number of concrete remarks and questions (circa. 20 minutes) from the audience and will provide a short summary (5 minutes) of the panel discussion.
PANEL 1 Physical Movement of Consignments (Transport and Transit)
Moderator: Mr. Abdelmalek Dahmani, President FIATA, Tunisia
Problems of freight-forwarders and providers of multimodal transport in facilitating trade
with reference to regional differences in the transport sector.
Mr. Raghu Dayal, Corporate Director, Lemuir Group, India
Mr. Juerg Hammer, Gondrand AG, Switzerland
Differences between express carriage of goods and non-express freight forwarding; overview
of the main problems express carriers face in different world regions.
Mr. Kenneth Glenn, FedEX, USA
The main rules and practices which govern the air transport sector - International Air
Transport Association (IATA).
Mr. Robert Davidson, Assistant Director, Facilitation Services, IATA
The main rules and practices which govern the sea transport sector - International Chamber
of Shipping (ICS).
Mr. Brian Parkinson, Head of Trade Facilitation, ICS
The main rules and practices which govern road transport and road transit -International
Road Transport Union (IRU).
Dr. Peter Krausz, Central and Eastern Europe Officer, IRU
The main rules and practices which govern the rail transport sector -International Union
of Railways (UIC).
Dr. Manfred Erdmann, Freight Director, UIC
13.00 - 14.30 Lunch break
PANEL 2 Import and Export Procedures and Requirements, including Customs and Border Crossing Problems
Moderator: Mr. Klaus Krinke, Federation of German Industries, Germany
Private sector views on the most important practical problems their businesses face in the
area of customs and border-crossing.
Mr. Juan Antonio Morales Bermudez, Lima Chamber of Commerce, Peru
Mr. Danny Meyer, President, Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce, Zimbabwe
Mr. David Wakeford, ICI, UK
Mr. Nicolas Ozanam, Deputy Director General, French Wine and Spirits Exporters, France
Practical problems for traders in the area of customs valuation.
Mr. Peter Zubrin, General Motors, USA
Practical problems for traders through customs irregularities - costs for business,
consumers, and governments and the impact of customs irregularities on small and
Mr. David Phillips, Transparency International
Persisting obstacles for trade caused through documentation requirements and procedures.
Mr. Adriaan Snoodijk, Federation of Dutch Entrepreneurs (VNO-NCW) and UNICE, Netherlands
PANEL 3 Payments, Insurance and other Financial requirements which affect Cross-Border Movement of Goods in International Trade
Moderator: Mr. Radu Negrea, Romanian Banking Association, Romania
a. Overview of the facilities and problems related to payments, insurance and
other financial requirements in the developed world.
Mr. Norman Rose, British Services Association, UK
Overview of the facilities and problems related to payments, insurance and other financial
requirements in the developing world.
Mr. Henrique Rzezinski, Xerox Brazil, Brazil
The role of exchange control formalities and other formalities related to payments,
insurance and other financial requirements which could create obstacles to trading, with
reference to opportunities to reform.
Mr. Moses Pelaelo, Bank of Botswana, Botswana
Financial requirements related to international trade - Avenues to reform; Experiences
with "Bolero" and its potential for the future.
Mr. ┼ke Nilson, Marinade Ltd., UK
Tuesday, 10 March 1998
Chairman: Mr. Anwarul Hoda, Deputy Director-General, WTO
PANEL 4 Electronic Facilities and their Importance for Facilitating International Trade
Moderator: Mr. Christiaan van der Valk, ICC
a. The importance of electronic facilities for the conduct of international trade
- A view from a provider of such services.
Mr. Alec Absalom, GE Information Systems, USA
The importance of electronic facilities for the conduct of international trade - A view
from a user of such services.
Mr. Nick Mansfield, Shell, Netherlands
The role of EDIFACT for facilitating international trade, with reference to its potential
for small and medium-size enterprises.
Dr. Nadadur Janardhan, ESCAP
Modernization of customs administrations by use of information technology - The Chilean
Mr. Enrique Fanta Ivanovic, Director General of Customs, Chile
Trade Facilitation and Electronic Commerce - A perspective from Asia.
Dr. Chun-Kwong Han, Multimedia Development Corporation, Malaysia
III. Presentations by intergovernmental organizations
The organizations specified below will identify the existing instruments relevant to trade facilitation in their area and/or the practical assistance they are giving. They will indicate from their perspective the reasons for the existing problems and explain how far their work has so far addressed these problems.
Mr. Henri Martre, Chairman of CEFACT,
Ms. Carol Cosgrove-Sacks, Director Trade Division, UN/ECE
Mr. Hans Carl, Chief, Trade Facilitation Section, UNCTAD
Mr. Douglas Tweddle, Director, Compliance and Facilitation Directorate
Mr. Carlos F. Cattani, Senior Adviser on Trade Finance Services
Mr. Adrien Goorman, Senior Economist, Tax Administration Division
12.40: World Bank
Mr. Jayanta Roy, Principal Economist, Middle East and North Africa Department
13.00 - 14.30 Lunch break
Mr. Heinz Opelz, Director, Market Access Division, WTO
IV. General discussion
Open exchange among all participants on the issues raised during the Symposium, possible conclusions that may be drawn, as well as on future work on trade facilitation in various fora, including the WTO.
Concluding remarks by the Chairman