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Key players in Africa to review and discuss ways chambers of commerce can lobby in support of the Single Window

11 May 2017
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The entry into force of World Trade Organization trade facilitation agreement, which seeks to expedite the movement, release and clearance of goods across borders, launches a new phase for trade facilitation reforms all over the world and creates a significant boost for commerce and the multilateral trading system as a whole.

In line with this the Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PACCI) with the support of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, African Trade Policy Center is organizing a consultation meeting entitled ‘Enabling Cross Border Trade - Ways Chambers of Commerce can lobby in Support of the Single Window Meeting’ to update business on the progress made in implementing the Trade Single Window system across the continent and to contribute ideas to help shape the future of import/export processes and formalities in Africa.

The Consultation Meeting, taking place in Addis Ababa on 22-23, 2017 at the United Nations Conference Center, will discuss issues and challenges around the implementation and operation of the Single Window in Africa and ways the chambers of commerce and other business support associations can influence the trade facilitation implementation process.

‘As you know for businesses involved in cross border trading, the clearance of imports and exports by customs and other agencies are among the most problematic links in global supply chains’ said Mr. Kebour Ghenna Executive Director of PACCI.

The meeting aims to share with key stakeholders the experiences of African countries in implementing a Single Window to enhance the efficient exchange of information between trade and government, and discuss further what governments, with the support of international organizations, should do to implement the Single Window facility as a national policy.

‘The main objective of the meeting will be to discuss elements of the Trade Single Window, and the experiences in Kenya and Nigeria, as well as the progress made and the challenges encountered by Chambers of Commerce in the issuance of electronic certificate of origin’ said Leul Wondemeneh Program Manager at PACCI.

‘PACCI aims to hear from businesses and stakeholders who are involved in cross-border trading, what governments and international organizations should do to alleviate the problems’ explains Leul.

PACCI, according to the organizers, has always been supportive of the trade facilitation agreement and has taken the initiative to call for member views on what follows next in terms of reforms and sensitization or public awareness. PACCI has a unique opportunity to influence the trade policy process of the government; to channel industry views on trade facilitation issues; identify concerns and new opportunities brought on by this new agreement; and advocate for tackling key problem areas. PACCI is keen to submit an evidence-based, meaningful, and progressive recommendation to governments.

 

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The Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry was established in 2009 by 35 founding national business chambers to influence government policy and create a better operating environment for business.

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