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Delivering on the Trade Facilitation Agreement: The role of standards and regulatory frameworks

14 December 2015

Venue: The Boma Nairobi Hotel, Bellevue, Off Mombasa Road, Red Cross Rd, Nairobi City, Kenya

 

Background

Trade facilitation creates a reliable, fast and cost-effective trade environment that benefits all countries and businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises. It is a collaborative effort by governments and traders to cut the costs of doing trade, reduce delays at borders, and make public agencies dealing with trade more efficient.

Trade facilitation will strengthen and support Africa's development and integration: to realize these gains, the region needs much more than effective and efficient customs offices. It needs the backing of a reliable regulatory system, with the support of solid quality infrastructure including standards bodies, conformity assessment bodies, test houses and laboratories as well as inspection bodies. The African region is making renewed efforts at strengthening these institutions, at all levels, from local, to national, to regional, to pan-continental.

Trade Facilitation GuideOne key tool available to governments and businesses implementing trade facilitation is the Trade Facilitation Implementation Guide (TFIG). TFIG is an interactive tool developed by the United Nations with the support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation (SIDA).

Content of the Workshop

At this Workshop, to be held as a side event of the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference, international and regional experts will present their experiences with existing standards and related tools, as well as their thoughts on how such instruments can be better used to further enhance implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) worldwide.

The following institutions will illustrate their respective contributions to making Trade Facilitation work for Africa:

  • African Union Commission (AUC)
  • African Organization for Standardization (ARSO)
  • Pan-African Quality Infrastructure (PAQI)
  • African Electrotechnical Standardisation Commission (AFSEC)
  • African Accreditation Cooperation (AFRAC)
  • the Kenya Bureau of Standards
  • the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa

The following international partners will share good practice in trade facilitation:

  • World Trade Organization (WTO)
  • United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)
  • International Trade Centre (ITC)
  • United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
  • United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
Link to Press Release
TimeDescription
Venue: The Boma Nairobi, Bellevue, Off Mombasa Road, Red Cross Rd, Nairobi City, Kenya
09:30 – 10:00Registration
10:00 – 10:30

Opening Remarks

  • Director, Kenyan Bureau of Standards
  • Hermogene Nsengimana, Secretary General, African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO) / Chairperson, Pan-African Quality Infrastructure (PAQI)
 
  • Treasure Maphanga, Director, Trade and Industry, African Union Commission
  • Maria Ceccarelli, Acting Chief, Trade Facilitation Section, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)
10:30 – 10:45Coffee break
10:45 – 12:15

Session 1. Implementing global standards under the WTO-TFA: the UN Trade Facilitation Implementation Guide (tfig.unece.org)

Moderated by Daniel Blockert, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Sweden to the WTO 

         o  Implementing the WTO TFA

         o  The Trade Facilitation Implementation Guide (TFIG): Developing a National Trade    Facilitation Road Map

  • Jan Hoffmann, Chief, Trade Facilitation Section, Trade Logistics Branch, UNCTAD

         o  National Trade Facilitation Bodies

         o  Private sector participation

         o  Trade Facilitation Implementation: Some evidence from Africa
12:15 – 12:45Panel discussion and questions and answers session
12:45 – 14:00Light networking lunch
14:00 – 15:45

Session 2. The role of standards and quality infrastructure for trade facilitation

Moderated by Director for Trade and Industry, African Union Commission (AUC)

  • François Ahoti, IEC-AFRC Officer, International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), AFRICA Regional Centre

         o  How IEC International Standards and Conformity Assessment Systems facilitate trade

         o  Facilitating trade through regulatory cooperation

         o    Panafrican Quality Infrastructure - Structure and Mandate

         o  AFSEC standardization and conformity assessment activities

         o  Standardisation and Conformity Assessment in Africa toward establishing the Continental Free Trade Area by 2017

         o  The role of standards and quality infrastructure for trade facilitation in EAC

         o  The role of standards and quality infrastructure for trade facilitation: The UNIDO Approach
15:45 – 16:15Panel discussion and questions and answers session
16:15 – 16:45Closing remarks
17:00 – 18:00Cocktail