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Awareness On WTO Instruments Commences In Monrovia

Awareness On WTO Instruments Commences In Monrovia

A four -day sensitization workshop on several World Trade Organization-related instruments has formally begun in Monrovia, Liberia. The four-day awareness program is focusing on the Trade Facilitation Agreement and the African Continental Free Trade Area, with the objective of realizing a single continental market that ensures the free movement of goods and people across borders without hindrances.

A Commerce Ministry release says day one of the exercise began on Monday, September 30, 2019, for twenty-five participants from the private sector, while days two and three October 1-2 are focusing on the New ECOWAS Customs Code for thirty participants from n the trade and transport sectors.

According to the release, the final day of the ongoing awareness on the WTO /Trade Facilitation Agreement and the African Continental Free Trade Area is intended for thirty-five participants and will take place on Thursday, October 3, 2019.

The Trade Facilitation Agreement, the first multilateral Trade Agreement since the birth of the World Trade Organization in 1995, was recently ratified by Liberia after its submission to the Legislature by President George MannehWeah in early August, 2019.

The TFA document is now awaiting the President’s signature, while efforts are continuing for the ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Area.

There are prospects for Liberia to receive a financial assistance of US$40million for capacity building facilities as a result of the ratification of the TFA.

Liberia was admitted into the WTO on July 15, 2016 after constructive efforts led to the Country’s Memorandum of Foreign Trade Regime being endorsed by relevant stakeholders at the time.

The country already has a National Trade Facilitation Committee, created through Executive Order Number 74 on January
19,2017.

The opening of the workshop saw speeches and presentations from key stakeholders, including the ECOWAS Ambassador to Liberia, TundeAjisomo, Assistant Commerce Minister for Trade Services, Peter D. Somah, GIZ Project Director, UrichThuer and an Executive of Borderless Alliance, Justine Bayili, amongst others.

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