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Breaking down barriers to global trade

Our GoTrade initiative aims to support international trade and sustainable economic growth by increasing the number and volume of small and medium-sized companies trading across borders.

Through Trade to Prosperity

GoTrade Brochure

Removing the red tape

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations in 2015 are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. The UN identified international trade as an important means to achieving the SDGs. Trade barriers, such as customs procedures, which are often bureaucratic, non-transparent – and corruption-prone – hit developing countries particularly hard and make it more difficult for them to access world trade.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) recognized that bureaucratic delays and "red tape" are a burden on traders moving goods across borders hampering economies to grow. WTO members ratified a landmark Trade Facilitation Agreement, which came into force in 2017. Trade facilitation – the simplification, modernization, and harmonization of export and import processes – has therefore emerged as an important issue for the global system of trade.

But how exactly do we facilitate international trade and sustainable economic growth, especially in developing and least developed countries? And how do we ensure that an increase in cross-border trade is sustainable?

The answer is by removing red tape at the border and helping small and medium-sized business in developing countries access the global marketplace. GoTrade is designed to match our strengths with priority global needs and to work with leading international organizations so that our resources are channeled for maximum effectiveness.

In line with our company purpose to connect people and improve lives, GoTrade is about expanding the reach and benefits of globalization.

GoTrade is education and access

Deutsche Post DHL launched the fourth of its ‘Go’ programs in 2020 to tackle this problem. The main goal of GoTrade is to support sustainable economic growth by increasing the number and volume of small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) trading across borders. The program is designed to expand the reach and benefits of globalization by working with governments and international organizations and drawing on our expertise in logistics, customs, and trade. It teaches SMEs about the value of cross-border trade and gives them the tools to access the global marketplace. With our support and practical advice, they can more easily connect to national and global trade authorities and navigate the complexities of international shipping, such as customs clearance.

GoTrade is reform and real sustainability

Helping SMEs in the world’s developing and least developed countries access global markets is a proven way to connect people and improve lives. To do that, we need to break down the barriers to global trade byspeeding up the customs clearance process, minimizing bottlenecks at borders, and reducing the costs associated with crossing borders. We work together with government agencies and international organizations to make these necessary changes and help cultivate an environment in which SMEs can thrive and cross-border trade can grow.

In 2020, we initiated a cooperation with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development to promote digital customs and trade processes and e-commerce in Africa. Initiatives include a new digital system to allow companies in Africa to complete customs procedures online and new e-commerce platforms to create new sales markets.

We’re also working with WTO Member Countries to ensure that reforms laid out in the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) are implemented in a way that supports real sustainable economic growth. Our focus is on those countries that require outside assistance to put these measures into practice. These are typically developing countries, and we’re working with them to establish national trade facilitation committees comprising members of the public sector involved with trade, such as customs and trade ministries. This provides us with an opportunity to engage with governments in order to develop policies and processes that support sustainable economic growth.

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GoTrade and you!

Every Deutsche Post DHL Group Country Manager is a GoTrade advocate. With operations in 220 countries and territories around the globe, that means GoTrade support is available in your country, too. Our teams are experts in local economies and policies. They understand the challenges facing local businesses, whether it’s dealing with complex and bureaucratic customs processes, poor infrastructure or a business climate that keeps local entrepreneurs from accessing global markets. In addition, our people are connected to a global network of colleagues leveraging their experiences in accelerating trade. Together with donors and international organizations we are working on reforms that have a real economic impact.

GoTrade is designed to help improve the trading environment in your country. With a network of GoTrade advocates around the world, a team of experts in Germany, and the support of global trade and logistics organizations (including donors such as the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation), we are embracing globalization to secure a brighter future for all.

Published: October 2020

Through trade to prosperity

With our sustainability program GoTrade, we have made it our mission to support developing countries and their small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in accessing the global market.

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