ITC Launches Trade Facilitation Program

By Victor C. Hanson, Jr

The International Trade Center (ITC) has announced the establishment of its trade facilitation program that would assist to develop countries that have implemented the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement.

The particular focus of the program would be providing support to Least Developed Countries (LDC), ensuring that their small and medium sized enterprises have a great chance of participating in international trade.

The ITC trade facilitation program would capture four main pillars which include: support, coordination, and strengthening of national trade facilitation committees.

According to the document the national trade facilitation committees play a key role in the coordination of implementation of the TFA at the national level. Additionally, functional trade facilitation committees and consultation mechanisms are important first steps in implementing the agreement.

The ITC will assist developing countries, especially LDCs and Landlocked Least Developed Countries, in defining their implementation plans for compliance with the agreement specially supporting the following activities.

The primary aim of the ITC’s trade facilitation program is to provide clear and focused technical advice to developing countries and SMEs to benefit from improved trade facilitation; the ITC has already assisted over 20 in their effort to implement the TFA, including the categorization of their commitment.

It will use the model of public-private partnership that has been at the heart of ITC’s work for the past 50 years, and ITC will bring together actors from the public and private sectors in developing countries to ensure that steps are taken to comply with the agreement.