Asia-Pacific Trade Facilitation Forum 2015, 20-21 October 2015, Wuhan, China

Date of activity: 
Tuesday, October 20, 2015 to Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Background

The 7th Asia-Pacific Trade Facilitation Forum (APTFF) will take place in Wuhan, China on 20-21 October. The APTFF 2015 is organized by ESCAP, ADB and China International Electronic Commerce Center (CIECC), with support of multiple ministries and agencies in charge of trade, trade facilitation, logistics and foreign affairs in China. Substantial support will also come from China’s Hubei provincial and Wuhan municipal governments. A number of relevant events will be organized during 19-23 October 2015.

Under the theme “Deepening regional integration through trade facilitation”, APTFF 2015 aims to examine the key role of trade facilitation measures for deepening regional and global linkages and promote regional cooperation as a means of address regional and national trade facilitation challenges. The forum will look at key emerging issues in trade facilitation, such as the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), efforts towards Asia-Pacific regional agreement on facilitation of cross-border paperless trade, cross-border e-commerce, trade facilitation for LLDCs, LDCs, Small Island Developing States (SIDs), SMEs and agricultural sector.

The APTFF has been co-organized by ESCAP and ADB in cooperation with a growing number of partner organizations since 2009. It now attracts two to three hundreds participants from 30 countries each year. As such, it has become the main annual open regional platform to exchange information, experiences and practices for trade facilitation in Asia and the Pacific, identify priority areas for regional cooperation and integration and learn about new tools and services which can increase the efficiency of cross-border transactions.

Objectives

  • Enable sharing of experiences and knowledge on trade facilitation between countries of the greater Asia and Pacific region including LDCs and LLDCs
  • Foster increased understanding and exchange of views between public and private stakeholders, as well with trade facilitation standards developers and technical assistance providers
  • Learn about and draw lessons from on-going implementation of national and regional trade facilitation measures
  • Introduce relevant international tools, instruments and facilities aimed at increasing the efficiency of regional and global cross-border trade, including latest tools by the United Nations Network of Experts for Paperless Trade in Asia and the Pacific

Participants

  • Senior government officials involved in import, export and transit policy, facilitation and control - to learn from the experience of some of the most successful countries in the region, as well as gain insights from those of other countries that may face similar difficulties; to gain a unique understanding of the regional trade facilitation situation and to increase awareness of available tools and solutions to reduce red tape and improve competitiveness; to interact with experienced developer of electronic trade facilitation systems and donors for possible collaboration.
  • International organizations and development agencies with an interest or on-going activities on trade facilitation in Asia-Pacific – to share information on their activities and initiatives they support in the area of trade facilitation; To learn what others are doing in this area and identify opportunities for cooperation and potential synergies.
  • Trade facilitation service providers – to inform and network with participants from a unique set of emerging economies about services offered and potential impact on trade efficiency; To understand the problems faced by traders, regulators and development agencies and identify opportunities for the development of relevant services and solutions.
  • Trade and development policy analysts and researchers from the region – to share findings with policy makers and other government officials influencing or implementing trade regulations; to understand the practical problems faced by traders, regulators and development agencies and identify relevant research questions accordingly.

Format of the event

  • Plenary sessions: These sessions feature panels of experienced policy makers/analysts/presenters/experts to introduce selected issues of broad regional relevance and interest, followed by open discussion.
  • Multimedia Exhibition: The exhibition is designed to enable trade facilitation service providers, researchers/analysts, development/donor agencies, international organizations and government agencies to showcase their work or presenting relevant case studies or findings in an interactive manner.
  • Side events: These events are held to maximize learning and capacity building on trade facilitation of participants attending the Forum. While the nature and number of side events vary every year, they generally include a study tour organized by the host country, as well as technical workshops co-organized with the United Nations Network of Experts for Paperless Trade in Asia and the Pacific (UNNExT) and other members of the Global Facilitation Partnerships for Trade and Transport (GFP).