MOCI-WTO SPS/TBT National Seminar On Transparency And Capacity Building

Group photo of Participants at the TRAPCA Workshop, Bella Casa, Monrovia
Group photo of Participants at the TRAPCA Workshop, Bella Casa, Monrovia
Photo Credit: Minister Marvie

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry, in partnership with the World Trade Organization, with support from the Swedish National Board of Trade, held a three-day SPS and TBT Seminar in Monrovia on May 22 – 24, 2017. The Workshop brought together resource personnel from the WTO/STDP and the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF), private and public sectors, as well as development partners to evaluate the Sanitary Phytosanitary and Technical Barrier to Trade regimes in Liberia. Panel discussions were also held during the seminar. The SPS/TBT seminar is a part of the WTO Post Accession Plan for Liberia which speaks to the implementation of the Action Plans on SPS and TBT within a definite timeframe.

 

The three (3) days seminar and capacity building program focused on the basic principles of the SPS and TBT agreement of the WTO, the transparency mechanisms and the challenges facing Liberia with regard to its capacity to comply with requirements from other markets. The participants were taken through the transparency tools offered by the WTO. The workshop brought together forty-six (46) participants from the private sector represented by the Liberia Chamber of Commerce, Cocoa Exporters Association, the Liberian Business Association and several government ministries and agencies. The Honorable Minister of Commerce & Industry, Honorable Axel M. Addy graced the seminar. There were also participants from the Swedish National Board of Trade, Swedish Development Corporation and USAID.

 

In a related development, the Trade Policy Training Center in Africa (TRAPCA) held a four (4) day capacity building workshop in early May 2017 for the trade community focused on sharing LDCs and African experience on the notification of the category “C” measures under the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement. The workshop was attended by public and private sector stakeholders and provided an opportunity for TRAPCA to develop a comprehensive project proposal for multiple trainings on trade policy, trade law and trade facilitation for Liberia for senior, mid-level and junior professionals across government, as it is done with the Government of Rwanda. TRAPCA also expressed willingness to support the efforts of government in the negotiations of the Continental Free Trade Area. In a closing bilateral meeting with the Deputy Minister of Commerce, Honorable Steve Marvie, these conclusions were reached. The Ministry will continue to explore programs that can strengthen its capacity development initiatives for staff.