Copyright: cmcderm1 / 123RF Stock Photo
Copyright: cmcderm1 / 123RF Stock Photo

Turkey ratified the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), and presented its instrument of acceptance to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Deputy Director General Yi Xiaozhun on March 16, 2016.

Turkey is the 71st member of the WTO to ratify the TFA.  The TFA will enter into force once two-thirds of the WTO countries ratify a Protocol of Amendment and notify the WTO of their acceptance of the TFA.

Turkey has already begun to take steps to increase and facilitate trade with its neighboring countries. For example, the WTO noted in its recent Trade Policy Review of Turkey, that Turkey has launched a pilot project at a border gate with neighboring Bulgaria to reduce customs processing delays through coordination of customs procedures. A similar project is proposed to be launched at the border of Turkey and Georgia.

The implementation of the TFA has the potential to increase global merchandise exports by up to $1 trillion per annum, according to the WTO’s flagship World Trade Report 2015.  For a brief summary of the TFA, see our earlier post here.

In addition to Turkey, the following WTO members have also accepted the TFA: Hong Kong China, Singapore, the United States, Mauritius, Malaysia, Japan, Australia, Botswana, Trinidad and Tobago, the Republic of Korea, Nicaragua, Niger, Belize, Switzerland, Chinese Taipei, China, Liechtenstein, Lao PDR, New Zealand, Togo, Thailand, the European Union (on behalf of its 28 member states), the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Pakistan, Panama, Guyana, Côte d’Ivoire, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Kenya, Myanmar, Norway, Vietnam, Brunei, Ukraine, Zambia, Lesotho, Georgia, Seychelles, Jamaica, Mali, Cambodia and Paraguay.