London, 11 March 2022 (TDI): The United Kingdom (UK) has agreed to pledge .

4 million to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) to help developing countries boost trade by cutting red tape to allow for better recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

This funding is part of an ongoing partnership that has thus far supported more than 25 countries to overlook the movement of goods and to strengthen public-private collaboration.

The funding was announced by Amanda Milling, UK’s Minister for Asia and the Middle East, in a meeting with Rebeca Grynspan, UNCTAD Secretary-General, and Kunio Mikuriya, World Customs Organization Secretary-General.

Rebeca Grynspan said that the United Kingdom is a valued partner of UNCTAD and added that the country had provided key support to developing countries around the world and has been doing so since 2015 in order to ensure trade efficiency.

“I am delighted to reaffirm the UK’s long-held commitment to trade facilitation in developing countries, through simplifying, modernizing and harmonizing export and import processes, least developed and developing countries can increase their trading capacity and revenue, contributing to their sustainable economic growth.” -Amanda Milling.

The funds will allow UNCTAD to further bolster national trade facilitation facility committees. This funding is a significant increase to the previous funding of $1.2 million provided by the UK.

It is part of the UK government’s accelerated trade facilitation program. The next goal of the program is to empower countries to better respond to a future crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

It will also continue to foster gender equality and diversity, working with border agencies to embed the importance of gender sensitivity and also to promote women’s participation and decision-making in trade facilitation.

Zafivanona Ernest Lainkana, Director-General of Customs in Madagascar, of the beneficiary countries of the program, said she welcomes the continued support to boost their effectiveness in border management.

She also added that only through the coordinated efforts of all agencies will they be able to fully seize the potential of trade facilitation.