Trade Information Portal Streamlines Pacific Trade Processes

Published: Wed 12 Jun 2024 03:58 AM
APIA, Samoa – The PACER Plus Regional Workshop on Trade Information Portals (TIPs) commenced on Tuesday 4 June in Apia, Samoa. This workshop aims to enhance the accessibility of trade-related information for PACER Plus countries to increase their regulatory transparency in trade and investment-related capacity to reach the standards set out in PACER Plus. A TIP is a one-stop website where countries can access information on trade import and export procedures, laws, and regulations, for engaging in international trade. This platform makes complex trade procedures understandable by displaying them step-by-step from start to finish, from a trader’s point of view.Government officials from PACER Plus parties – Cook Islands, Kiribati, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu – were present at the Regional Workshop on Trade Information Portals in Apia, Samoa. Photo/Supplied
The Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) Plus is a unique trade agreement designed to raise living standards, create jobs, and boost exports from Pacific Island countries. By lowering trade barriers, PACER Plus provides greater certainty for businesses operating in the Pacific region.
Julian Fraga-Campos, Economic Affairs Officer at the UN Trade and Development (UNCTAD), is leading the training sessions. "The establishment of Trade Information Portals is crucial for increasing transparency, enhancing predictability and facilitating smoother trade processes within the PACER Plus framework," said Mr. Fraga-Campos.
Government officials from PACER Plus parties – Cook Islands, Kiribati, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu – were present at the workshop. The workshop focuses on the creation of capacity among government officials for the implementation, management and sustainability of TIPs, as well as in providing training on notifications send through Contact Points and awareness of its obligations to ensure that all PACER Plus countries are informed and able to comply with the agreement's standards.
Alipate Tavo, PACER Plus Implementation Unit's (PPIU) Trade and Investment Adviser, emphasised the importance of cooperation among PACER Plus countries. "As part of the PACER Plus agreement, countries have an obligation to share trade information and policy amendments with other PACER Plus parties. This ensures a cohesive and transparent trading environment that benefits everyone involved."
Mrs. Angoango Fakaua from Kiribati's Ministry of Tourism, Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives highlighted the impact of the workshop on her country's trade practices. "This training is important for Kiribati as it equips us with the tools needed to streamline our trade processes and align with regional standards. It is an important step towards improving our trade infrastructure."
Ms. Ann Warsal from Vanuatu's Department of Customs and Inland Revenue shared similar sentiments. "The Trade Information Portal has simplified the complexities of international trade regulations for Vanuatu, making it easier for our businesses to navigate and comply with trade requirements."
Ms. Keity Tuiloma from Samoa's Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Labour added, "Having a centralised source of trade information not only promotes efficiency but also enhances our ability to engage in international trade more effectively. This workshop is an important opportunity for us to learn and implement best practices."
The four-day training concluded on Friday 7 June.

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