The FSM, RMI, and Palau complete their preliminary trade and investment facilitation needs assessment with the technical assistance of the Commonwealth Secretariat Hub & Spokes II Programme teamed up with the International Trade Centre (ITC), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) during a sub-regional workshop on July 7-9, 2015.
Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), July 09, 2015
The Sub-regional Workshop on Trade and Investment Facilitation needs assessment for Member States of the Micronesian Trade and Economic Community (MTEC), which took place on July 7-9, 2015, at the Public Service Commission Conference Room, in Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), was convened by the MTEC Interim Secretariat currently headed by the FSM Department of Resources and Development. The Workshop brought together 37 Senior Government Officials, Port Authorities, and Private Sector representatives from the FSM, RMI, and Palau, as well as a representative from the Micronesian Shipping Commission (MSC). This very important activity, identified in by the FSM, RMI, and the Republic of Palau in the 2015-2019 MTEC Work Program, was facilitated by the Commonwealth Secretariat Hub & Spokes II Programme, the International Trade Centre (ITC), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
The Workshop contributed to strengthen participants’ capacity in trade and investment facilitation, shipping connectivity, and cross border paperless trade through presentations delivered by Dr. Saeed, Chef Trade Facilitation Section, ITC, Dr. Hoffman, Chief, Trade Facilitation Section, UNCTAD, Dr. Yann Duval, Chief Trade Facilitation, Trade and Investment Division, and Mr. Sangwon Lim, Economic Affairs Officer, Trade Facilitation Unit, Trade and Investment Division, ESCAP, and Mr. Azapmo National Trade Adviser, FSM Department of Resources and Development.
The needs assessment exercise was conducted and facilitated by Dr. Saeed and Dr. Hoffman, whilst the categorization and roadmap were prepared by Mr. Azapmo. The preliminary findings indicated that there were 10 Category B measures common to the FSM, RMI, and Palau which were partially implemented and thus required improvements. In addition, the findings revealed that the FSM, RMI, and Palau were non compliant with respect to four Category C measures: creation of enquiry points, establishment of trade facilitation for authorized operators, movements of goods intended for import under custom control, and creation of a single window.
Frank exchanges of information, discussions, and interactive group work sessions involving private sector representatives and government officials attending the Workshop contributed to enhance Public-Private Sector dialogue on the various topics. This led to the designation of champions among private sector representatives and government officials to lead the implementation of priority activities identified in the Trade and Investment Facilitation Roadmap developed by participants. The Roadmap was adopted by MTEC Ministers during their 7th Meeting on July 13, 2015 and subsequently endorsed by the 15th Micronesian Presidents’ Summit on July 15, 2015.
Although the FSM, RMI, and Palau are not yet WTO Members, they see the importance of trade and investment facilitation which will contribute toward enhancing trade and investment flows between the three Countries, thus increasing regional integration and fostering their integration into the world economy. The MTEC was established in 2014 through a Treaty, which envisions the creation of a community of shared prosperity through the promotion of sub-regional trade and economic cooperation and integration to support the achievement of sustainable and equitable socio-economic development of its Member States, and facilitate their integration into the global economy.
The fruitful collaboration between the MTEC Interim Secretariat, Commonwealth Secretariat Hub & Spokes II Programme and ITC, which led to the successful conduct of this Workshop, is expected to strengthen during the implementation of the priority activities identified in the MTEC trade and investment facilitation Roadmap, which was adopted by MTEC Ministers during their 7th Meeting on July 13, 2015 and subsequently endorsed by the 15th Micronesian President Summit on July 15, 2015 in Majuro. The next immediate step will be to organize national consultations to validate the findings of the preliminary assessment undertaken during the Workshop.
For more information, please contact: MTEC Interim Secretariat/FSM Department of Resources and Development; telephone (691) 320-2646/5133; fax: (691) 320-5854; e-mail: email@example.com.