MOCI, UNCTAD launch Empowerment Program

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The Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI) and the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD) have launched an Empowerment Program for the National Trade Facilitation Conference (NTFC).

The program was launched on Tuesday, September 28, 2016, at a resort in Monrovia and was attended by local and international partners.

It is intended to assist the trade community to implement, in a coordinated manner, trade facilitation reforms, including the provisions of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).

Steve Marvie, Deputy Minister for Commerce, said the NTFC will benefit and help improve teamwork within the organization.

He said the launch serves as a roadmap that seeks to mainstream Trade Facilitation beyond the WTO TFA and ensures knowledge transfer within a training-of-trainers approach and provides a sign of quality for donors and the private sector.

To this end, Minister Marvie said the Ministry intends to improve the trade environment by putting in place a National Single Window and the Verification of Conformity, which will lead to the automation of trade transactions and the establishment of a standards regime to address substandard goods.

He recalled that as part of the WTO Post Accession Plan, the introduction of a trade portal is also a desirable objective of the WTO Steering Committee.

Minister Marvie said the two events with the trade community were intended to strengthen trade facilitation coordination, update the terms of reference and put in the legal framework to support the committee.

He continued that representatives from government ministries and agencies, as well as the private sector, which includes the shipping lines, APM Terminals, members of the Liberia Business Association, Liberia Chamber of Commerce, the importers, manufacturers and the Liberia Brokers Association also participated in the conference and praised them for the level of participation.

Mr. S. Henry Yaidoo, Coordinator, Single Project Implementation Unit, coordinated the workshop.

UNCTAD will conclude the mission with a number of bilateral agreements with the National Port Authority (NPA), Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP), Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) and MOCI.

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