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Jan 24

NATIONAL WORKSHOP HELD TO SENSITIZE STAKEHOLDERS ON THE WTO TRADE FACILITATION AGREEMENT

Basseterre, St. Kitts, January 24, 2019 (SKNIS): A two-day national workshop on the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) is being held at the ICT Centre from January 24-25. The workshop is an initiative geared towards capacity building and knowledge sharing about the agreement.

According to Trade Policy Officer, Latoya Davis, the ministry is appreciative of the continued technical corporation with the WTO Secretariat.

Ms. Davis explained that as red tape poses a burden for moving goods across borders for traders, “trade facilitation, the simplification, modernization and harmonization of export and import processes have therefore emerged as important issues for the World Trading System.” WTO members forged the Trade Facilitation Agreement to address the matter.

“The main objective of the Trade Facilitation Agreement is to streamline and substantially remove the red tape and bureaucracy that often slow and impede international trade thereby significantly reducing both cost and time needed to do business across borders,” said Ms. Davis.

The trade policy officer said that trade facilitation efforts such as simplifying required paperwork, modernizing procedures and harmonizing custom requirements can significantly minimize the cost and time needed to import and export goods.

“Reduction in time and costs to trade can thus make the difference between a country seamlessly linking up to an integrated global production or being left on the margins of a big part of world trade,” she said. “It is therefore necessary to emphasize that ultimately easing trade processes can provide a critical boost to international trade and the global economy.

Ms. Davis said that it is anticipated that the workshop will instill in participants a better understanding of the Trade Facilitation Agreement, provide a review on the various category commitments and the implementation assistance and support that are available.

“It is expected that the overall effects of this very important Trade Facilitation Agreement Workshop will enhance participant’s understanding of what the agreement entails and use the TFA as a major driver towards establishing a trade and business environment that will lead to increased investment and employment whilst ensuring that consumers, importers and exporters enjoy the efficient movement of goods across the borders of the Federation,” said Ms. Davis.

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