WTO, WCO chiefs pledge joint efforts to facilitate trade in essential goods

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New Delhi, Apr 6 (PTI) The chiefs of the two multi-lateral bodies – WTO and WCO – on Monday pledged to work together to facilitate trade in essential goods such as medical supplies, food and energy in order to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

World Trade Organisation (WTO) Dirctor general Roberto Azevedo and World Customs Organisation (WCO) Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya in a joint statement said the two bodies would work closely together to minimize disruption to cross-border trade in goods – in particular those essential to combat the COVID-19 pandemic – while safeguarding public health.

“They also pledged to establish a coordinated approach to support initiatives that facilitate cross-border trade so that essential goods can quickly reach those most in need, including in least developed and land-locked countries,” it said.

As COVID-19 continues to spread globally and governments consider new measures to protect the health and well-being of their citizens, they urged members to ensure that any new border action is targeted, proportionate, transparent and non-discriminatory.

The statement also said that both the organisations have already invited member countries to increase transparency by sharing information on new trade and trade-related measures introduced in response to COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are also willing to establish a coordinated approach in support of initiatives that facilitate cross-border trade in goods, in particular those key to combat COVID-19. This would allow that essential goods can quickly reach those most in need, including in least developed and land-locked countries,” it said.

India is a member of both the organisations. PTI RR SHW BAL