by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada
- Trade Facilitation Task Force will undergo training on removing barriers to trade across borders
- Trade Facilitation Roadmap will guide implementation of Trade Facilitation Agreement ratified in December 2015
Over the next few days, the National Trade Facilitation Task Force in Grenada will undergo capacity building on removing barriers to trade across borders ahead of the launch of Grenada’s National Trade Facilitation Roadmap.
Major barriers to trade include extended waiting periods at borders, inappropriate fees, cumbersome formalities, and inadequate or unclear rules and regulations which can have adverse consequences that can affect investment, employment, and development. It is in this regard that the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has intervened to assists developing countries in identifying these barriers with a view of implementing specific trade facilitation measures.
The training currently taking place at the Radisson Grenada Beach Resort is being spearheaded by Alexandre Larouche-Maltais, Associate Economic Affairs Officer of UNCTAD. “Trade facilitation is all about increasing transparency to make sure that the laws and regulations on trade are made available to traders. It is also about simplification. Sometimes we see unnecessary steps for crossing borders and that’s what we want to get rid of. it can also be about harmonisation and modernisation of trade procedures,” he said.
In this training session, UNCTAD will assist National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC) members to familiarise with Special module 2 of the UNCTAD Empowerment Programme. Representatives from the Customs Department, Ministry of Trade, the private sector and the Ministry of Agriculture, make up the task force.
Among the outcomes of this week’s session, members will have a better understanding of governance, resource mobilisation, and sustainability strategies of NTFC according to international best practices. The training will also see:
- Selected members of the NTFC trained as trainers
- Drafting of a knowledge transfer strategy for new NTFC members
- Capacity building of NTFC members to finalise the drafting of a 3-5 year trade facilitation implementation roadmap with key performance indicators
- Launch of Grenada’s National Trade Facilitation Roadmap.
“We know that Grenada is relying a lot on the tourism sector, so we want to reduce the cost of importing goods so that we make sure that the tourism industry is still competitive as well as exporting because we want to make sure that your exporters can be competitive in the international markets,” he said.
A major highlight will be the launch of Grenada’s National Trade Facilitation Roadmap which will guide the implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement ratified in December 2015 with the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
Grenada is among 14 countries to benefit from such technical assistance with funding from the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting via Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs. The other countries are St Lucia, Dominica, St Kitts, St Vincent, and Antigua.