The visit to Malaysia of the Tajikistan delegation, comprising several of the proposed public and private sector members of the National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC), started officially today on 30 November 2015. The study tour, which will be concluded on 4 December 2015, is organized by the International Trade Centre (ITC) within the framework of the Government of Switzerland funded Trade Cooperation Programme in Tajikistan.
ITC supports the Republic of Tajikistan in establishing a NTFC, as part of their national obligations under the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). The Government’s objective is that the committee, to be known as the Tajikistan Trade Facilitation Committee (TTFC), will help to implement their TFA obligations as well as to more broadly facilitate the simplification and harmonization of international trade procedures.
This study tour ensures timely provision of necessary assistance in preparation for the start of the TTFC’s work, and provides a unique opportunity to learn from best-practices. The study tour programme includes high level meetings with relevant counterparts in the Malaysian NTFC, as well as officials, regulatory authorities and private sector actors on trade facilitation issues. The study tour will include visits to key agencies, port and border posts, and transit agents. According to Mr. Inoyatullo Kasimov, Head of WTO Affairs Department of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, “We believe that familiarization with the work of trade related agencies and structures and their cooperation and coordination in Malaysia, which is known as one of the global leaders in successful setting up and running the TTFC, will help us to better launch the TTFC activities in our country, to better implement our mission in trade simplification and management, and to provide better services to export and import actors in Tajikistan”.
Mr. Giles Chappell from ITC HQ in Geneva, Section of Trade Facilitation and Policy for Business, who is accompanying the Tajik delegation, provided more details of the study tour programme: “In particular, the Tajik delegation will become acquainted with the Malaysian experience in running the single window and the activities of the Malaysian enquiry points, meet with the leadership of several key agencies in Malaysia, such as the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, the Federation of the Malaysian Manufacturers, the Malaysian External Trade Development Corporation, the Royal Malaysian Customs Department, and the Customs and Immigration Quarantine Complex in Johor. During these meetings, special attention will be given to institutionalized cooperation and coordination of activities between different actors of trade facilitation in Malaysia. The guests from Tajikistan will also be introduced to the use of e-payment, advance rulings and work with authorized operators, and will visit Malaysian ports and border points with Singapore”.
The TTFC is planned to soon be established in Tajikistan; it will disseminate information on policy developments in trade facilitation, support the implementation of obligations arising out of the WTO’s TFA, integrate private sector concerns into the formulation of policy on trade facilitation, and serve as a conduit between national authorities and the WTO Trade Facilitation Committee. The TTFC will also assist national authorities in determining priorities for donor support, provide policy guidance to relevant authorities including the Cabinet of Ministers, support public awareness of matters related to trade facilitation, etc.
The ITC, through this technical assistance project, is committed to support Tajikistan’s public and private sector in strengthening their knowledge of the opportunities and challenges stemming from WTO membership.
Swiss support: Within its Cooperation Strategy for 2012-2015, Switzerland focuses on four sectors in Tajikistan: Health, Rule of Law, Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation, and Private Sector Development. The overall goal of Swiss Cooperation in Tajikistan is to support the transition process in the country through contributing to economic development and by helping build institutions and systems which are responsive to the population’s needs. www.swisscoop.tj, www.deza.admin.ch, www.seco-cooperation.admin.ch