Dear readers,

We all know that trade of commodities across borders is bureaucratic, expensive, and time-consuming. International trade is one of the drivers of national prosperity, and the functioning of the international trading machine should therefore be of concern to all Word Trade (WTO) members. The WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation (TFA), concluded in December 2013, for the first time provides the opportunity to significantly facilitate cross-border trade within an international legal framework, to make it more transparent and predictable for economic operators. Bureaucratic customs procedures are to be simplified and standardized, and regulations and customs procedures streamlined. The aim is to reduce costs for companies and promote entrepreneurial development worldwide. Facilitating trade will benefit all companies, consumers and governments.

I remember being invited to the very first “Werkstattgespräch” by the Parliamentary State Secretary Hans-Joachim Fuchtel back in 2016. Following a presentation by Mr. Fuchtel on the importance of the agreement on trade facilitation for Germany, I realized the potential and relevance of this initiative. Siemens agreed to support the implementation of the agreement. Together with German business community, Siemens supported the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to establish a National Alliance to pool expertise and resources and promote cooperation and knowledge sharing on existing issues in trade. The very first Working Meeting of the German Alliance took place March 2017 at Siemens AG in Erlangen.

We at Siemens Healthineers believe that the TFA will benefit businesses as well as consumers. Trade with less barriers not only enables better access to the market, but at the same time supports participation in global value chains. Countries in which products can be imported and exported quickly and reliably are attractive trading partners and potential locations for companies that want to invest and offer their customers good products at fair prices.

The benefits of cheaper and easier trade transactions translate directly into increased prosperity and wellbeing for all countries involved in the process. The TFA should not be just a unilateral or bilateral issue for a limited number of countries. And to be successful, a facilitation agenda needs wide political support and the sustained commitment of those active in the formulation and implementation of trade policy.

How can we sustainably strengthen the interests of German business within the German Alliance? How can we simultaneously strengthen the trade capacity of partner countries which contributes to poverty reduction and employment? What can we do at the national level to reduce trade barriers and facilitate trade worldwide with the combined strength of the ministries and the business community?

The 13th Working Meeting will offer a platform to jointly discuss these questions as well as new and existing trade facilitation initiatives. Siemens Healthineers warmly invites you to join us from 24-25 April in Forchheim.

Mahmut Sen

Head of Rules & Regulations Trade Compliance

Siemens Healthineers


Kick-Off Call 2023

In a lively exchange the German Alliance for Trade Facilitation reviewed projects and events from the past year. Moreover, the secretariat shared an outlook on activities and topics for the upcoming months.

Video of the German Alliance

During the Working Meeting in Eschborn in May 2022 we took our chance to capture some voices from our partner network. Thanks to all who contributed to the video. You can find the final result on our website.


Kenya: Strengthening the "Authorised Economic Operators" Programme 

The project in Kenya aims to boost trade facilitation under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). In recent weeks, various activities have taken place to further enhance the Kenyan AEO programme. 

Montenegro: Milestone in the Introduction of Pre-Arrival Processing

The main project partners Montenegro Revenue and Customs Administration and the Post of Montenegro agreed on a future model for PAP Postal. Previously, they also exchanged with their Slovenian counterparts.

Serbia: Exchange with the  Customs Administration

The Customs Administration of Serbia and the German Alliance for Trade Facilitation jointly organised workshops on the topics of "Authorised Economic Operators" and "Pre-Arrival Processing" for Postal Consignments.

Ghana: Enabling Women in Cross-Border Trade

The event series was initiated in recognition of the need for gender-sensitive approaches in trade facilitation. It aims to enable women in Ghana to unlock the full scope of their entrepreneurial potential.


Trade facilitation is the core of our work. Additionally, our projects include topics such as gender sensitivity, environmental sustainability or legal frameworks. To share the collective knowledge of our project managers from all over the world, we published articles on current issues and all-time relevant topics around the field of trade facilitation. More to follow.



Risk Management




Authorised Economic

Operators (AEO)



13th Working Meeting

The next Working Meeting will take place in Forchheim at Siemens Healthineers. Are you interested in attending? Please contact the secretariat via tradefacilitation@giz.de.



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