COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s first country session for its exporters on the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) will commence in Colombo today (April 26). Vice President Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation Donia Hammami, and Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation’s Trade Expert & Senior Advisor, Eric Miller will address the session. They will be joined by Chairman of International Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka Keerthi Gunawardane, Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen and Economist Subhashini Abeysinghe. The session is jointly steered by International Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka (ICCSL) and Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation (GATF). “The focus of the session will be to tell our private sector of the impact of TFA for Sri Lanka and, more importantly involve them in going forward,” said ICCSL Chairman Gunawardane. Vice President Hammami leads ICC policy work in Customs and Trade Facilitation at the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the world’s largest business organization with a network of over 6million members in more than 100 countries.
World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), agreed in 2013, was the first multilateral trade agreement since the creation of the WTO in 1995. It came in to force on 22 February 2017 following its ratification by two-thirds of the WTO membership. The TFA was accepted by 112 member countries including Sri Lanka. WTO TFA provides a unique opportunity to promote inclusive growth by making cross-border trade easier, quicker and less costly for businesses of all sizes.