New publications from OECD, late July 2018

New OECD publications have been uploaded to the OECD iLibrary, a comprehensive digital repository of books, papers, and statistics from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Titles recently added include:

These volumes and more are accessible from the OECD iLibrary by WTO staff and WTO Library patrons.

New statistical publications from OECD, late July 2018

New OECD publications have been uploaded to the OECD iLibrary, a comprehensive digital repository of books, papers, and statistics from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Titles recently added include:

These volumes and more are accessible from the OECD iLibrary by WTO staff and WTO Library patrons.

Mid-Year Report to the WTO Trade Policy Review Body

The Director-General’s mid-year report has been presented to the WTO Trade Policy Review Body (TPRB). Covering the period mid-October 2017 through mid-May 2018, the monitoring report assesses and reviews trade measures and policies put into place in comparison with the previous review period (mid-October 2016 to mid-October 2017).  Among the findings, it was observed that, while WTO members continue to implement more trade-facilitating than trade-restricting measures, “WTO members introduced more trade-restrictive measures” than during the previous period.

For the Director-General’s speech, more on the launch of the report, and a link to the report itself, visit the report press release on the WTO website here: https://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news18_e/trdev_25jul18_e.htm

Using Trade Facilitation to Assist MSMEs in E-Commerce in Developing Countries by Rutendo Tavengerwei.

In anticipation of the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC11), several developing country Members submitted proposals reflecting concerns related with e-commerce and the continued involvement of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in cross-border e-commerce. Some developing countries perceive the booming significance of MSMEs as an opportunity to further enhance their economic relevance by incorporating them into e-commerce. The increase of MSMEs in e-commerce has also been reflected by the International Trade Centre (ITC). In one of the ITC’s most recent surveys conducted on 2262 firms, the statistics indicated that of the firms that engage solely in cross-border e-commerce, 82% are MSMEs. Notwithstanding these significant changes on the ground, Members have differed significantly in their views since 1998 concerning the e-commerce agenda. This has created considerable inroads in defining what e-commerce is as well as the rules that should regulate e-commerce. More recently, the e-commerce dialogue has reflected concerns on how the WTO could potentially deal with the rapid inclusion of MSMEs in the market through e-commerce. Although all companies face red tape in cross-border trade, due to size and financial constraints, MSMEs in developing countries face the most challenges in cross-border e-commerce. Many of these problems are related to the cross-border delivery of goods, the after-sales services as well as limited cross-border de minimis exemptions that discourages MSMEs from e-trading. Therefore, several Members consider that it is vital to continue to work on trade facilitation matters, especially those that are forward looking and can better assist MSMEs to better integrate into the e-commerce world. This article adopts two specific discussion points based on the proposals submitted by different Members for the WTO MC11 suggesting ways to move forward. First, using case studies from different countries, the article will focus on some of the challenges faced by MSMEs in developing countries, such as inefficient customs administration which is a result of issues related to cross-border trade. Part of this discussion will also assess how developing countries can use the recently agreed TFA to address these issues. The second part of the article will focus on how current provisions in the TFA as well as other forward looking trade facilitation efforts that are not reflected in the agreement, can help MSMEs to benefit from cross-border e-commerce. In relation to this part of the discussion, an exploration of the possibilities of technical assistance and capacity building that is e-commerce relevant would thus be necessary. Finally the article will conclude, highlighting limitations associated with the recommendations given.

https://doi.org/10.1093/jiel/jgy022

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Bertelsmann Stiftung’s Future of Global Trade Governance Report

In mid July, Bertelsmann Stiftung’s High-Level Board of Experts released their report on the future of global trade governance. The report “outlines four complementary avenues that can be pursued to revitalize the WTO as a forum for trade cooperation and conflict resolution,” according to the WTO announcement, found here.

Prepared independent of the WTO, the report provides conclusions and recommendations reflecting the views of the experts involved. The report is available online from the WTO website, for consultation and download.

Read the full report here, at the bottom of the news announcement on the WTO website: https://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news18_e/trdev_17jul18_e.htm

New publications from OECD, mid July 2018

New OECD publications have been uploaded to the OECD iLibrary, a comprehensive digital repository of books, papers, and statistics from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Titles recently added include:

These volumes and more are accessible from the OECD iLibrary by WTO staff and WTO Library patrons.

New statistical publications from OECD, mid July 2018

New OECD publications have been uploaded to the OECD iLibrary, a comprehensive digital repository of books, papers, and statistics from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Titles recently added include:

These volumes and more are accessible from the OECD iLibrary by WTO staff and WTO Library patrons.