These figures do not correspond to the scale of the mobilization of resources that has been promised on trade facilitation at the international level. 80 The World Trade Organization. World Trade Report 2015. Available at: www.wto.org/english/res_e/booksp_e/world_trade_report15_e.pdf#page=80. The provisions of the TFA SDT have introduced a new paradigm into multilateralism and concentrated trade agreements, from liberalisation to development. Indeed, the TFA echoes the programme`s 2030 slogan, “Leave No One Behind,” by linking the implementation of legally binding commitments to the ability of developing countries to do so. In addition, the agreement requires donors to provide TACBs.  The 2019 Aid for Trade Report confirms that trade facilitation has increased by $219 million over 2016. 102 Daily FT.
(2016). The EU and the UN are launching a EUR 1 billion project to promote THE SL trade. Available at: www.ft.lk/article/580291/EU-ONU-Launch-R-1-1 billion project-to-boost-SL trade. World Trade Organization. Accelerating trade: benefits and challenges in implementing the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement. Available at www.wto.org/english/res_e/booksp_e/world_trade_report15_e.pdf. 79 OECD trade facilitation indicators. (2017). Compare your country. Available at: www.oecd.org/trade/facilitation/indicators.htm.
149 WTO members have already ratified the TFA. Therefore, only 14 additional ratifications are needed for WTO membership to fully commit to trade facilitation reform. Although not legally binding, 10 of these 14 countries have announced their intention to implement the TDS provisions and have shown their intention to soon become part of the TFA. Since trade facilitation reforms have implications for several areas ranging from transparency to customs cooperation, coordination of the implementation of the TFA is enshrined in a multi-party body called the National Trade Facilitation Committees-NTF. In order to prevent the interests of some groups from taking precedence over others, NTCFs should plan ahead for the full implementation of ADTs as part of a public-private partnership approach. 83 Trade Facilitation Database. (2017). Membership profile: Sri Lanka. Available at www.tfadatabase.org/members/sri-lanka.www.tfadatabase.org/members/sri-lanka. As you prepare for a marathon, you will train harder in areas where you are below average.
Similarly, developing countries and LDCs need to pay close attention to international trade players, who are often not taken into account, such as SMEs and SMEs. The WTO estimates that direct exports account for only 7.6% of total manufacturing SME sales in developing countries (WTO, World Trade Report, 2016). Three years have passed since the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) came into force. The aim of the TFA is to increase the speed and efficiency of cross-border trade procedures while reducing costs. Full implementation of the TFA could reduce global trade costs by 10-18% (OECD, 2018) and increase export earnings by up to $3.6 trillion per year (WTO, 2015). Sri Lanka is located in the centre of the Indian Ocean, at the crossroads of international trade and is therefore ideally located to become an important regional logistics hub. To achieve this vision, Sri Lanka must put in place appropriate legal processes and frameworks for the consolidation of several countries (MCCs). An MCC hub is an intermediate point where multiple shippers from multiple origins consolidate their shipments to create full container loads (FCLs) before being sent to their next destination. MCC offers merchants flexibility, lower transit costs and more efficient service.