Press releases

ITC and EABC kick-off training on trade facilitation for East African business associations (en)

9 avril 2019
ITC Nouvelles
Arusha workshop to boost knowledge, skills on the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement

(Arusha-Geneva) - 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.

[Members of the media wishing to attend the workshop or speak to representatives of the International Trade Centre or the East African Business Council are requested to use the contact information below.]

Notes to the editors

About the International Trade Centre - The International Trade Centre is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. ITC assists small and medium-sized enterprises in developing and transition economies to become more competitive in global markets, thereby contributing to sustainable economic development within the frameworks of the Aid-for-Trade agenda and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. For more information, visit www.intracen.org. Follow ITC on Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | Instagram

About the East African Business Council (EABC) - The East African Business Council (EABC) is the regional apex body of private sector associations and corporates in East Africa with a single purpose of driving the East African Community (EAC) integration process through trade and investment. To achieve this EABC works with the public sector, EAC institutions, the academia and the business community to unlock the economic potential through increased access to markets, enhanced trade environment and improved business competitiveness. For more information, please visit: http://eabc-online.com. Follow EABC on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

About EU-EAC Market Access Upgrade Programme (MARKUP) - The EU-EAC Market Access Upgrade Programme (MARKUP) is a four-year regional development initiative that aims to contribute to the economic growth of the EAC region. The programme assists small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda by targeting specific agricultural commodities. More specifically, it aims to support increased exports of agribusiness and horticultural products, promote regional integration and enhance the participation of SMEs in intra-regional trade and exports to the European market. MARKUP is funded under the 11th European Development Fund and is implemented by ITC, the United Nations Organization for Industrial Development and the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit and other national partners.

Contact:

International Trade Centre
Victoria Tuomisto
Associate Expert for Trade Facilitation
T: +41227300337
E: vtuomisto [at] intracen.org

East African Business Council
Adrian Njau
Trade & Policy Advisor
T: +255272520162
E: anjau [at] eabc-online.com