Agência para o Investimento e Comércio Externo de Portugal


Arusha workshop to boost knowledge, skills on the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement

The International Trade Centre and the East African Business Council will on 8 12 April carry out a weeklong training seminar for East African trade practitioners on the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). Organized as part of the European Union-East African Community Market Access Programme (MARKUP), will take place in Arusha, Tanzania.

The training - which will take the form a training-of-trainers event - aims to equip East African trade professionals with the necessary understanding of the TFA. The trained trainers will then be enabled to carry out training for local business support associations and traders, with a view to identify obstacles to cross-border and advocate for their removal. The trained trainers are foreseen replicate the workshop in every EAC member state: Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda.

The training has been developed in response to persistent delays and red tape hampering the movement of goods across borders in East Africa. Among the members of the East African Community (EAC), inefficient trade procedures and non-tariff barriers represent an obstacle to expanded intra-regional trade and deepened regional integration. Trade facilitation - the simplification, modernization and harmonization of export and import processes - has thus become a key issue for the global trade system and for regional economic communities, such as the EAC, to create new opportunities for businesses that are operating in regional and international markets.

With provisions to speed up the movement, release and clearance of goods, the WTO Trade Facilitation agreement (TFA) - which entered into force in February 2017 - represents a viable option to resolve cross-border trade inefficiencies.

As a result of this regional MARKUP initiative, project stakeholders will achieve greater sensitization on the need to simplify cross-border trade procedures and to ensure greater inclusion of the private sector in public-private dialogue platforms responsible for the implementation of the TFA at the national level.

This capacity-building initiative is an extension of the efforts undertaken since the entry into force in 2017 of the Trade Facilitation Agreement, and is part of a collaboration between EABC, the EAC Secretariat and ITC through the financial contribution of the European Union.