Min. Of Commerce In Collaboration With the Swedish National Board of Trade conducts Stakeholders bilateral Consultative meetings on the ratification and implementation of WTO Trade Facilitation Agreem

Participants photo at the Stakeholder meeting
Participants photo at the Stakeholder meeting
Photo Credit: MOCI WTO Unit

Tuesday 9 October 2018, Monrovia, Liberia In an effort to consolidate public and private stakeholders support for the ratification and implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement in Liberia, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in collaboration with its international partner the Swedish National Board of Trade (NBT) organized and engaged several stakeholders in the trade and commercial sector of Liberia, including Ministry of Finance & Development Planning, BIVAC, Liberia Chamber of Commerce, Liberia Immigration Services, Liberia Revenue Authority, Liberia Business Association, Ministry of Agriculture, Liberia National Brokers Association, Ministry of Transport among others. Anneli Wengelin and Alexandra Hernadi of the NBT along with Tom Tombekai and Clarence Freeman of the MoCI, Trade Facilitation Team led the Stakeholders bilateral consultative meetings.

 

The above mentioned Stakeholders voiced their deepest preparedness and pledged to support every effort toward the ratification of the TFA by the National Legislature. Comprehensive engagement at the Legislative and Executive levels is vital and remains a prerequisite toward the successful implementation of the Agreement. A strong “Political Will” is cardinal to receiving the needed domestic support for the smooth operation of the Liberia National Trade Facilitation Committee. They also expressed their concern about the slow pace of the ratification of the TFA and urged the Government of Liberia to exert every effort aim at ratifying and implementing the agreement for the benefit of the private sector.

 

Hon. Wilson K. Tarpeh, Minister of Commerce & Industry expressed his willingness and commitment to work with the Swedish National Board of Trade (NBT) as well as supporting Liberia obligations to the WTO as an active member. Senator Jim Tonorla, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce and Trade also reaffirmed his commitment to lobbying with his fellow lawmakers in the Lower and Upper houses of the National Legislature to get the Trade Facilitation Agreement ratified between January to March 2019. Minister Tarpeh stressed that the WTO Agreement and other bilateral trade treaties, protocols and policies should be linked to domestic policies in order to enable Liberians take ownership of their Economy. He intimated that concrete policy actions have been taken for the free flow of trade and commerce, including the followings;

  • The establishment of the National Standard Authority;
  • Trade Facilitation Agreement Ratification in harmonization with Pro Poor Development Agenda for Prosperity which will give Liberian ownership of their Economy; 
  • The Second phase of the selection process for a vendor on the Verification of Conformity VOC contract with the National Investment Commission (NIC);
  • The Second phase of the selection process for a vendor for the Liberia Single Window Trade Platform contract by the Steering Committee;
  • Institutionalization of the National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC).