United nations headquarters, 27 oCTOBER 2009


The global economic crisis has affected all the world’s citizens. Concerted efforts to restart world trade are a critical part of the steps necessary to ensure long-term recovery and growth. This is especially true in the least developed and landlocked developing nations.
The UN Office of the High Representative for the LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS, in collaboration with the World Bank, organized a Seminar on 27 October 2009 on the sidelines of the 64th session of the GA Second Committee, to underscore the critical relevance of trade facilitation as a means for vulnerable countries to emerge stronger and more competitive from the current crises.
The keynote presentation by John S. Wilson, a Lead Economist at the World Bank, along with his colleague Alberto Portugal, provided an update on global trade prospects — and the role of trade facilitation reform in expanding trade. World Bank analysis, data, and indicators on trade facilitation, and transparency will be outlined. In addition, new Bank research on the impact of aid targeted at trade will be presented. This work shows that a 10% increase in “aid for trade facilitation” — targeted at regulatory reform alone — translates into an $8 billion increase in global trade. The “rate of return” on each dollar of this type of trade-related aid is about $700.
Mr. Wilson also provided an update on the World Bank’s Trade Facilitation Facility, and work to establish a new public-private partnership on “Aid for Trade Facilitation” discussed at the Bank-IMF Annual Meetings week in Istanbul earlier this month.


Background Documents by the World Bank: