It’s reckoned to be worth $1,000,000,000,000 globally. David Cameron, the British prime minister said it would be worth £600 million to the UK alone.
This valuable commodity is, of course, the agreement reached by governments at World Trade Organisation conference in Bali last week which opens the way for an expansion of world trade.
There have been times during this round of talks when it looked like ministers would fail to reach agreement.
In fact, at one point the CEOs and chairmen of more than 80 international companies, including Fred Smith of FedEx, wrote an open letter to the “Financial Times” urging the World Trade Organisation to finalise the deal.
The final agreement includes a set of commitments designed to increase global trade, reduce administrative costs and delays at the border as well as help promote economic development among the world’s poorest countries.
It has been warmly welcomed. Scott Davis, UPS chairman and CEO, said: “While there remain areas where additional progress is necessary, the trade facilitation agreement provides a new base from which we can continue to elevate customs standards. This could further support the pending Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations.”
The importance of these trade agreements is highlighted by the fact that today, the average import content of exports is about 40 per cent. Consequently, to export, a country must import as well. Not only that, the trade in services such as logistics, assembly and distribution, account for a much larger proportion of world trade than previously thought.
The phrase, Made in the World, just took on an extra significance.