Partnership with WTO

The UPU and the World Trade Organization (WTO) signed a memorandum of understanding in August 2023 to promote activities in areas of common interest, with a view to improving postal services and the contribution thereof to regional and global integration and development, trade inclusion, and climate action in the postal sector. The UPU and the WTO also collaborate closely with regard to data sharing and joint economic research to improve the quality of data coverage (i.e. reduce cases of missing data) for cross-border e-commerce. 

The UPU has been granted ad hoc observer status at meetings of the WTO Council for Trade in Services relating to postal affairs. Accordingly, it provides UPU member countries with regular updates on developments in trade in services, including the classification of postal and courier services within the WTO and other issues of common concern.

Furthermore, the UPU recently joined, as an observer, the WTO informal working groups on micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and on trade and gender, in order to support international efforts to tackle obstacles faced by MSMEs and women in international trade.

Mr Masahiko Metoki, UPU Director General, and Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, WTO Director General, held a bilateral meeting in Geneva in December 2023 to discuss further collaboration between these two UN specialized agencies. Mr Metoki highlighted the relevance of the postal sector in e-commerce development and the need to ensure that the regulatory frameworks governing international trade and postal flows adequately address this nexus.

  • For more information on trade facilitation and UPU collaboration with the WTO, visit here.
  • For more information on the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement Database and Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility, visit here.
  • For more about UPU policy brief exploring the main topics covered in the WTO Joint Statement Initiative on e-commerce, visit here.