AT WTO Conference Liberia’s Commerce Minister Raps On Liberia’s Post Accession Achievements

Commerce Minister Wilson K. Tarpeh

The Minister of Commerce and Industry, Professor Wilson K. Tarpeh, says Liberia remains committed to upholding the provisions of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Minister Tarpeh said Liberia is in the process of ratifying the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), which will set forth a series of measures for expeditiously moving goods across bounders through best practices from around the world.

He said the Coalition for democratic change DC –led Government, under the leadership of President George Manneh Weah, will ensure that WTO instruments aimed at boosting effective trade in Liberia are promoted to the letter.

A Commerce Ministry release quotes Minister Tarpeh as noting that as a manifestation of Liberia’s commitment to effective and value added trade; constructive steps have been taken by government.

Minister Tarpeh outlined some of the actions as reforming the importing regime by reducing the time needed for import, in line with efforts to reduce their final cost to the consumer.

The Liberian Chief Trade Negotiator disclosed that Government is working to build a special economic zone, that specifically serves as incubator for exporting firms and model of what Liberia could look like with developed infrastructure, lower energy cost and faster administrative processes.

He also spoke about extensive negotiations and talks with trading regime stakeholders to identify other bottlenecks that impede trade flows in the country.

At the gathering, Professor Tarpeh also discussed challenges faced over the past three years since Liberia’s admittance into the WTO.

“I can only speak to the progress made over the past 18 months since President George Weah’s election and subsequent inauguration in January 2018 and since I took office at the ministry of Commerce and industry.” He said.

Minister Tarpeh noted further that Liberia needs technical support to devise many policies and appropriate funding to implement them.

He told the gathering that program of assistance to Trade Support Institutions in Liberia (PASTIL) has been of great assistance.

However, he called for knowledge sharing across West Africa on best practices in order to avoid repeating mistakes and leading from successful policies from our neighbors.

The Commerce and Industry Minister made the commitment recently in Geneva, Switzerland, during the 2nd Forum on WTO Accessions: Technical Assistance and Capacity Building for Economic Transformation and Sustainable Peace Building.

The forum, organized by the WTO Secretariat from Wednesday, July 3- 5, 2019, also coincided with Liberia’s Third Year of accession to the World Trade Organization.

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