A review of trade facilitation projects financed by the European Union between 2006 and 2008 shows that just over one billion Euros has been spent to simplify import and export procedures for developing countries and boost their ability to benefit from trade and open global markets. "Developing countries cannot take full advantage of the benefits of open and fair trade if their exports fall at the first hurdle; trade facilitation is vital for developing countries' growth prospects," said EU Trade Commissioner Ashton, the EU's new High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy