Workshop participants discuss WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement

Participants in the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement Workshop.
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BASSETERRE, St. Kitts — A two-day national workshop on the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) began yesterday and ends today at the ICT Centre. The workshop is an initiative geared towards capacity building and knowledge sharing about the agreement.

According to Trade Policy Officer, Latoya Davis, red tape poses a burden to 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.

She 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,” said Ms. Davis. “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 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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