On the margins of UNCTAD 14, the Kenya Trade Network Agency showcased the Trade Portal project – the EAC region’s first initiative to publish all procedures related to trade and import procedures online in line with Article 1 of the Bali Agreement on Trade Facilitation.
UNCTAD 14 again proved to be a favored forum for knowledge sharing on innovative initiatives to promote trade and investment, when, during the “Mainstreaming Trade Facilitation for Regional Integration” side event held on July 21 during UNCTAD 14, Mr. Amos Wangora, a.g. Chief Executive Officer of the Kenya Trade Network Agency (KenTrade), took the stage to present the first project in the EAC region to establish an ePortal for Trade Facilitation.
Implemented under the supervision of the National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC), the Trade Portal project was initiated through a partnership between KenTrade, UNCTAD and TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) to provide existing and prospective trade operators with a one-stop guide to importing and exporting in Kenya.
The Kenya TradePortal will make use of UNCTAD’s eRegulations system, a database designed to make administrative procedures transparent, swift and efficient – an essential part of the NTFC’s strategy to enable the environment for private sector development and ensure compliance with article 1 (online publication on trade-related procedures) of the WTO Bali Agreement on Trade Facilitation.
Addressing delegates at the launch of the e-platform project during UNCTAD14, Mr. Amos Wangora, said, that “the Trade Information Portal will be an on-line platform which provides a comprehensive, single-point access to up-to-date trade related information mainly step-by-step guides to imports, exports and transit procedures. This will help current, potential traders and other stakeholders to access information that will assist them to make informed business decisions.”
The main objective of the Kenya Trade Portal is to provide traders with total transparency on rules and procedures pertaining to import and export formalities, through detailed, practical and up-to-date descriptions of steps to go through, as seen from the user’s point of view. While facilitating the simplification of procedures, the system also aims to promote and stimulate public-private dialogue on rules and procedures – with the ultimate aim to enhance ease of doing business in Kenya.