The World Trade Organization reached a multilateral agreement on customs and food security that officials said could inject up to USD$1 trillion into the world economy and create over 21 million jobs.

A deal was reached after intense negotiations that went into overtime. Several issues had to be resolved including as a deadlock over India’s food security plans, as well as a block by Cuba who objected that the pact did not end long-standing economic sanctions by the United States on the island.

WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo, who took office on September 1, described the pact as the first membership-wide agreement in the organization’s 18-year history.

Among the free trade agreement’s most important elements is that it will make it easier and less expensive to move goods around the world by removing red tape and restrictions. The USTR estimates that this deal will reduce costs for developing nations by 15% and for developed nations by 10%.

About Chandra Alatas

Chandra is the assistant manager of a large portfolio of residential and commercial real estate with holdings in Singapore and Jakarta, Indonesia. He is a specialist in property and REITs in Southeast Asia and the Middle East.
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