CA Committee 4 "Trade Facilitation, Financial Inclusion, and e-Trade", October 2018

Speech by UPU Deputy Director General Pascal Clivaz at the UPU CA Committee 4 "Trade Facilitation, Financial Inclusion, and e-Trade", 24 October 2018.

Co-chairs, Mr. Sami Ghazali, from Tunisia, Mr. Germán Vazquez Asenjo, from Spain,

Distinguished Delegates,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my pleasure to welcome members of the fourth session of the CA Committee 4 in this cycle. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome the new CA C4 co-Chair from Tunisia, Mr. Sami Ghazali, who is Director General of the Ministry of Communication Technologies and Digital Economy.

As we can all witness around us, e-commerce and the rise of the digital economy are rapidly transforming the way, in which people, businesses and governments transact and interact.

Due to these changes, new opportunities are emerging that enable otherwise disadvantaged regions to leapfrog to e-commerce and e-trade without following the traditional economic development path, thereby enhancing productivity gains, the growth of new sectors, and diversification of trade.

In this regard, we see the postal infrastructure playing a crucial role in enabling countries to facilitate trade and participate in the digital economy more effectively.

However, digital transformations also bring various challenges and are not without costs by way of investments.

That is why, I am glad to see that the CA Committee 4 has set up a work item to bring to the attention of our member countries the need to recognize and consider the postal sector in the development of e-commerce, e-trade policies and projects and also to build partnerships with other actors involved.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The other subject matter considered by this Committee, and which is closely linked to digital transformation, is financial inclusion.

It is a strategic topic not only for the UPU, but for the international community as a whole.

Today, more than 1 billion people worldwide are banked by Posts, which makes the postal network the second largest contributor to financial inclusion after banks.

By developing and increasing the market share and the footprint of Posts, we would be in a better position to meet the international cost reduction and financial inclusion targets set in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development—the SDGs.

You will hear this afternoon the very new exciting developments in the implementation of our technical assistance programmes for financial inclusion, which will benefit directly some of our member countries that are engaged in the digitization of their financial services.

Your formal meeting will be followed by a Forum, which will address important policy matters dealing with E-commerce and trade facilitation.

I’m looking forward to those exchanges.

As you discuss other important agenda items ahead of you this afternoon and roll out the planned policy development activities, I would like to wish you all the best for your deliberations and outcomes of your session today.

Thank you.