Burundi, 13th – 14th April 2021 The International Trade Centre (ITC) in partnership with the East African Business Council (EABC), Federal Chamber of Commerce and Industries Burundi (CFCIB) and Association of the Traders of Burundi (ACOBU) are carrying out a workshop for trade practitioners in Burundi on the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). Organized as part of the European Union-East African Community Market Access Programme (MARKUP), the event will take place in Kayanza Province, Burundi.
After successfully holding similar national events in Dar es salaam and Kilimanjaro-Tanzania, Nairobi and Mombasa-Kenya, and in Uganda the TFA workshop in Kayanza – aims to equip Burundi and, more broadly, East African local business-support associations and traders, with a comprehensive knowledge of the TFA with a view to identify obstacles to cross-border and advocate for their removal. The TFA workshops will also be held in Kigali-Rwanda, Zanzibar as well.
The training has been developed in response to persistent delays and red tape hampering the movement of goods across borders in East Africa. Among the members of the East African Community (EAC), inefficient trade procedures and non-tariff barriers represent an obstacle to expanded intra-regional trade and deepened regional integration. Trade facilitation – the simplification, modernization and harmonization of export and import processes – has thus become a key issue for the global trade system and for regional economic communities, such as the EAC, to create new opportunities for businesses that are operating in regional and international markets.
With provisions to speed up the movement, release and clearance of goods, the WTO TFA – which entered into force in February 2017 – represents a viable option to resolve cross-border trade inefficiencies.
As a result of this regional MARKUP initiative, project stakeholders will achieve greater sensitization on the need to simplify cross-border trade procedures and to ensure greater inclusion of the private sector in public-private dialogue platforms responsible for the implementation of the TFA at the national level.
This capacity-building initiative is an extension of the efforts undertaken since the entry into force in 2017 of the TFA, and is part of a collaboration between EABC in partnership with CFCIB, the EAC Secretariat and ITC through the financial contribution of the European Union.