Cross-border trade is a catalyst for economic development. Removing trade barriers is therefore in the shared interest of businesses and governments. Barriers such as complex customs regulations, non-transparent procedures and a lack of appropriate IT systems are especially hard on developing and emerging economies, as high transaction costs impede the access of domestic businesses to global markets. Conversely, international enterprises see little incentive to invest (and thereby create jobs) in countries with an adverse trade and investment climate.
In 2013, to make international trade simpler and more transparent, the WTO member states concluded the TFA. This initiative has enormous potential: global trade costs could be reduced by between 12.5% and 17.5%, bringing numerous positive effects such as job creation and poverty reduction.
Achieving these goals requires close collaboration between government and business. In the Alliance for Trade Facilitation, corporations, business associations and government institutions from Germany and partner countries work together to implement the TFA. In this way, we combine business interests with the objectives of development cooperation.
Alliance projects significantly reduce time and costs for trade procedures, benefiting businesses and governments alike. They strengthen local suppliers, facilitate their integration into global supply chains and support the development of new markets. Through these projects, the Alliance contributes to the implementation of the TFA and to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Information on our projects can be found here.
The Alliance brings together government institutions, companies and associations at national and global levels to engage in collaborative exchange and drive sustainable change.
For the technical implementation of trade facilitation projects, the relevant partners cooperate on national committees for trade facilitation or project-specific working and steering groups. The German partners come together for working meetings every six months, and a representative steering committee acts as ambassador for the Alliance in Germany. This approach allows the partners to pool their resources in Germany and the project countries, create a global network and jointly build momentum for new and existing Alliance projects.
Company and Association Contributions
German, international and national companies are actively engaged in the work of the Alliance. With respect to their value chains and customers, they identify challenges in cross-border trade and initiate new projects or join existing ones. They cooperate with the relevant government agencies, contributing their extensive expertise.
The business associations in Germany and the partner countries represent the interests of their broad membership base, especially of small and medium-sized enterprises. They mobilize their member companies and use their events, media and networks to support the Allianceâ€™s goals.
The German Federal Government supports the Alliance within the scope of its respective responsibilities. As part of its mandate for German development cooperation, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is responsible for the political governance of the Alliance. The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) functions as a bridge to the WTO, in particular by keeping the relevant WTO committees informed about the latest results achieved by the Alliance.
The governments of the project countries decide on reforms and activities that might be implemented jointly with the Alliance. In accordance with the TFA, governments can report their willingness to cooperate with Germany and to launch projects; within a project, the local governments are the decisive actors. Depending on the focus of a given project, ministries of trade and finance and customs and other border agencies may be involved in its implementation.
Role of GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft fÃ¼r Internationale Zusammenarbeit)
As a service provider in international cooperation for sustainable development, GIZ is active in Germany as well as in the partner countries, providing expertise for the planning, management and implementation of reform projects. Its global network forms the basis for successful projects in developing and emerging countries.
Our team works in Germany and the project countries.