Asia-Pacific Trade Facilitation Forum 2012: "Enhancing public-private collaboration for trade facilitation, paperless trade and cross-border connectivity"

30 Oct 2012 to 31 Oct 2012
Sri Lanka

The Asia-Pacific Trade Facilitation Forum (APTFF) aims to promote trade facilitation as an important component of a comprehensive strategy for national and regional development.

The APTFF has been co-organized jointly by ESCAP and ADB and a growing number of partner organizations since 2009. Held in Thailand, Malaysia and the Republic of Korea in previous years, it will be hosted by Sri Lanka in 2012 – and China in 2013. 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-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. The Forum also intends to strengthen regional cooperation and coordination of Aid for Trade and related technical assistance and capacity building in trade facilitation.

In addition to regular panels and breakout sessions, the APTFF features an Exhibition on Trade Facilitation in parallel, to maximize information sharing on the works, practices, case studies and findings of trade facilitation service providers, researchers, as well as development/donor agencies, international organizations and government agencies.

A number of other side events on trade facilitation are generally also held in parallel or back-to-back with the Forum, typically in partnership with the host country as well as other relevant organizations. The Regional Organizations Cooperations Mechanism for Trade Facilitation (ROC-TF) Annual Meeting will be held just before the Forum on 29 October. The ARTNeT Conference on Empirical and Policy Issues of Integration in Asia and the Pacific is scheduled on 1 and 2 November including the session on Trade Facilitation and Poverty Reduction (on 1 November). In parallel with the first day of the ARTNeT conference, the Global Facilitation Partnership for Transportation and Trade (GFP) Meeting will be held on 1 November while the Study Visit to the Colombo Port is scheduled on 2 November (morning). A half-day workshop on WCO Economic Competitiveness Package is also planned on 2 November (afternoon).