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Zambia and Jamaica joint prize winners of the SmartLessons case study competition on trade facilitation
Trade facilitation can be a key contributor to sustainable development as speedier border crossings for goods and services help address poverty alleviation and even humanitarian crises, speakers at various sessions said at the Aid for Trade Global Review on 11-13 July. A case study competition underlined the importance of the issue, with joint prize winners announced from Zambia and Jamaica.
The WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility conducted the competition in collaboration with the World Bank Group under their Smart Lessons programme. The goal of the competition was to showcase the lessons learned in implementing trade facilitation reforms that help countries align with the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement. Two winners out of six finalists were selected: Kayula Siame, Permanent Secretary of the Zambia Ministry of Commerce, and Kanika Tomlinson from Jamaica’s Trade Board Ltd. Global Express Association (GEA), which represents three express delivery companies, supported the event. Mr. Tanner, GEA’s director-general, presented the certificates as a mock delivery of express packages.
Speaking about the reduction of goods inspections in Zambia thanks to the implementation of a risk-assessment mechanism, Ms Siame said: “What really drove us were private sector complaints. Their inventory were being kept at the border, they were tied up. With the new system of risk management principle, we did something different. We didn’t have to inspect 100% of goods and we were getting positive results and we were happy with that. Inspections were reduced from 100% to 18%.”
Ms. Tomlinson, meanwhile, emphasized the importance of partnerships in her case story titled “ Trade Facilitation Task Force: Involving public and private sectors to improve competitiveness”: “Many of you may have heard the phrase it takes two to tango. In Jamaica we say a bird cannot fly with one wing. This interdependent relationship between the private and public sectors is what formed the backbone of Jamaica’s taskforce for trade facilitation.”