Fiji to Fully Implement TFA

PS for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Mr Shaheen Ali and Ms Alina Antoci of World Bank Group at the WTO, Trade Facilitation Agreement Awareness Workshop. Photo: DEPTFO.

A National Action Plan is being developed by key trade facilitation agencies for the implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).

The Permanent Secretary for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Shaheen Ali at the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement National Awareness and Strategy Visioning Workshop today said the Fijian Government is fully committed to the implementation of the TFA.

Mr Ali said the key outcome of the workshop is developing a way forward for a national action plan of reforms that will be reported to the National Trade Facilitation Committee.

The Committee’s key role will be the implementation of the agreement through the national action plan.

“We need to take ownership of the process and work in a collaborative and coordinated manner. We need to ensure that our national action plan prioritizes our needs to enable Fiji to access the technical and financial support that is available to undertake reforms,” PS Ali said.

The National Trade Facilitation Committee made up of the key implementation agencies such as FRCA, BAF, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Fisheries and Forests would streamline trade procedures and implement trade facilitation measures in line with the national vision set out in the Fijian Trade Policy Framework.

Mr Ali said a key feature of the TFA is the collaboration and having better defined roles amongst the relevant border agencies and reducing costs and time to clear goods.

It is estimated the full implementation of the TFA could reduce trade costs by an average of 14.3 percent and boost global trade by up to $1 trillion per year, adding 21 million new jobs and lower the cost of doing international trade by 10 to 15 percent.

“Such gains will be made by improving efficiency of goods trade across borders and this will be achieved through reform of customs procedures, simplification of the documentations required to clear goods and streamlining of procedures employed by border agencies,” PS Ali said.

The workshop which is being held for two days is being facilitated by representatives from the World Bank Group and the International Finance Corporation.