About the ForumThe forum focused on • comparing trade facilitation needs and priorities in the region, • looking at possible regional solutions in measures of trade facilitation with a special focus on rapid alerts /import alerts.Participants were senior officials from the Ministries of Trade, Customs and Revenue Authorities from the East African Community and other relevant experts from regional and international organizations. BackgroundFor many countries in Africa and Asia, especially the least-developed and geographically-disadvantaged landlocked countries, trade facilitation is critical. Over the last few years, these countries have committed themselves to an increasing number of bilateral, regional and multilateral trade facilitation initiatives. The effective management of these commitments and ensuring their alignment with national development objectives are critical to the success of trade facilitation.The United Nations Development Account project “Strengthening capacities of developing countries in Africa and Asia to support their effective participation in negotiating bilateral, regional and multilateral trade facilitation arrangements” covered nine landlocked and transit developing countries, four in South Asia and five in East Africa. Its objective was to increase regional coordination and cooperation in implementing the bilateral, regional and multilateral trade facilitation commitments of the selected countries and aligning them with national trade facilitation policies. It comprised capacity building and networking activities at three different levels: national, regional and inter-regional.After a national phase aiming at mapping out the status of implementation of various trade facilitation commitments, a regional phase focused on addressing trade facilitation challenges and finding solutions at regional level.The forum was organized by the Trade Logistics Branch of UNCTAD's Division of Technology and Logistics.
United Nations Development Account