WTO conference in December to adopt trade development agreement

An agreement on working together to develop trade, which is to be adopted at the ministerial WTO conference in December in Bali, could mean payments at the border are cut in half on average - from 10 percent of the cost of goods to 5 percent, Maxim Medvedkov, the director of the Economic Development Ministry's trade negotiations department, said at a briefing during the G20 summit in St. Petersburg Friday.

An agreement on working together to develop trade, which is to be adopted at the ministerial WTO conference in December in Bali, could mean payments at the border are cut in half on average - from 10 percent of the cost of goods to 5 percent, Maxim Medvedkov, the director of the Economic Development Ministry's trade negotiations department, said at a briefing during the G20 summit in St. Petersburg Friday.

G20 representatives said the Bali conference should be a success, he said. The G20 leaders could support this position in the next few hours and this will provide a significant boost for the WTO conference to approve three key agreements.

First of all there is an agreement on working together to develop trade. "This agreement, which regulates the actions of all bodies working at the border, including customs, veterinary and phytosanitary services, in relation to procedures for admitting foreign trade freight. The WTO secretariat reckons that if this agreement is signed and comes into force, payments at the border will be cut in half. Currently an average of 10 percent of the cost of goods is paid at customs borders and this will go down to 5 percent because the procedures will be easier, more predictable and faster," he said, adding that this average rate includes duties.

The second document involves agriculture, Medvedkov said. "These are questions linked to administration of tariff quotas and increasing administrative transparency. It is important to us because we export many goods to EU and other markets that apply tariff quotas against us. Thus, we will certainly support this agreement," he said.

The third agreement involves special measures to support emerging economies. This package is still being compiled but its essence is that "emerging economies want certain international trade breaks, especially breaks linked to market access and the reduction of barriers in relation to supplies from these countries."

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