ITC supports Comoros’ WTO accession commitments on market access, trade facilitation
Policymakers and business representatives in Comoros have a stronger base to collaborate and ensure the country’s successful accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), following training by the International Trade Centre (ITC).
Workshops held on 27-28 January in Moroni raised awareness on market access for goods and trade facilitation among the public and private sectors and provided a platform for dialogue.
The workshops were led by ITC in collaboration with the WTO and Comorian Ministry of Finance, Economy, Budget, Investment, Foreign Trade and Privatization, and funded by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development. They were planned as part of an ITC project supporting Comoros’ WTO accession process.
The first workshop focused on the different levels of commitments made on market access for goods and the accession process. Participants received an introduction on WTO accession; a presentation on the technical aspects of tariff commitments, the process and implications of market access negotiations for goods; and an overview of the experience of Yemen, the most recent least developed country to have acceded to the WTO in 2014.
During the second workshop on trade facilitation, participants including Comorian public and private stakeholders and central and regional customs authorities learned about the requirements and technical assistance mechanisms of the new WTO Agreement for LDCs.
Fostering inclusive participation
The workshops promoted inclusive participation in the accession process with regional representatives from the islands of Grande Comore, Anjouan and Moheli, as well as private-sector stakeholders from organizations such as the Chambre de Commerce, d’Industrie et d’Agriculture d’Anjouan (CCIA), Mouvement des Entreprises Comoriennes (MODEC) et Union des Chambres de Commerce, d’Industrie et d’Agriculture des Comores (UCCIA).
According to the private-sector participants, the workshop was a ‘wake-up call’ that helped to sensitize the public and private sectors on the need to collaborate to ensure a successful accession process.
Deputy Minister of Trade H.E. Mr. Said Ben Ousseni acknowledged the importance of private-sector participation and the role of the workshop in serving as a building block in this process.