National Training Workshops on Integrated and Sustainable Trade and Transport Facilitation Monitoring Mechanism (TTFMM)
Substantial efforts have been made by the ESCAP member countries to facilitate trade to reduce trade costs and enhance trade efficiency. However, very few countries have established their own sustainable mechanism to monitor the effectiveness of trade and transport facilitation reforms and measures and identify solutions to streamline and optimize trade and transport process. Most trade and transport facilitation monitoring efforts have been ad-hoc, expensive and dependent on external, rather than national, human and financial resources. Although existing global trade facilitation performance surveys and databases provide useful information on benchmarking and raise awareness, they do not provide sufficiently detailed information to develop or update national trade and transport facilitation action plans. Consequently, countries often do not have adequate data or information to support evidence-based policy making and reforms.
Against this background, ESCAP and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) jointly developed a guide on establishing a sustainable trade and transport facilitation monitoring mechanism (TTFMM). The key functions of the TTFMM are two-fold: (1) to formulate/update and prioritize recommendations for advancing trade facilitation; and (2) to measure and assess progress in trade facilitation. It is emphasized that TTFMM should be anchored with national trade and transport facilitation committee (or an equivalent institution) and rely upon national resources to make it sustainable and affordable.
As an important step to establish TTFMM in Bhutan, a national training workshop will be organized by Bhutan National Trade Facilitation Committee, ESCAP and ADB in Phuentsholing, Bhutan from 10 to 14 March 2014. The workshop aims to equip relevant government officials, industry and private sector with skills and knowledge on the key components of TTFMM; so that TTFMM can be implemented subsequent to the workshop. Experts from ESCAP, ADB, World Customs Organization (WCO) and Kasetsart University, Thailand will share their expertise at the workshop.