Trade Information Portals (TIP) were at the heart of the discussion at the workshop on ‘Harnessing transparent trade information for effective trade facilitation in the East African Community’ (Nairobi, 21-22 November 2017).
The workshop assessed progress in setting up Trade Information Portals (TIP) in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. It also looked at how TIPs can assist and monitor reform agendas in the context of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement.
Once operational TIPs will provide trade operators with all the information they need on export, import and transit procedures. They will help governments to simplify procedures and improve trade facilitation policies. A regional index will set measurable targets for trade facilitation at EAC level. A working prototype of the index was presented during the workshop.
UNCTAD and Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA) partnered with EAC to establish TIPs in its member states. The Kenya Trade Network Agency launched the Kenya Trade Information Portal, the first in the region, during the EAC workshop. TIPs are also being finalized in Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. Future projects include Burundi and South Sudan.