For 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. BackgroundThe UNCTAD East Africa - South Asia Interregional Forum on Trade Facilitation is the closing event of 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”. The project covered nine landlocked and transit developing countries, four in South Asia and five in East Africa. The 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. The project 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 interregional phase will enable a South-South exchange of best practices.About the ForumThe forum will focus on • sharing best practices in trade facilitation, • evaluating various regional approaches to Trade Facilitation and • prioritizing and sequencing of Trade FacilitationThe forum will also consider other key issues, such as aid for trade and technical assistance, transit trade facilitation, and the future of automation of Customs clearance procedures.Participants will include senior officials from the Ministries of Trade, Customs and Revenue Authorities, and other relevant experts from regional and international organizations.The course is organized by the Trade Logistics Branch of the Division on Technology and Logistics.
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
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