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WCO successfully facilitates Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) scoping mission in Bangladesh in collaboration with other development partners

28 septiembre 2016

Following an invitation from the National Board of Revenue, People’s Republic of Bangladesh, the WCO successfully completed a needs assessment mission in partnership with the Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice, World Bank Group, from 27 August – 4 September 2016. The objective of the needs assessment was to identify the country’s capacity building needs to implement the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade Facilitation (TFA), taking into account the work of development partners, including the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) / Bangladesh Trade Facilitation Activity. The WCO mission took place in the framework of the HMRC-WCO-UNCTAD TFA Capacity Building Programme with the generous financial support of the Government of the United Kingdom through Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Recognizing the complexity of the trade facilitation environment and the unique Customs-to-Customs capacity building model of the WCO, engagement with NBR stakeholders in Dhaka and Chittagong, focused on identifying those areas where the WCO could complement existing initiatives and where the WCO’s expertise, tools and instruments would add a unique technical value to existing engagements. A visit to the Bangladesh Customs, Excise and VAT Training Academy in Chittagong provided the opportunity to introduce the WCO’s e-learning suite and the Framework of Practices and Principles on Customs Professionalism. Meetings with stakeholder groups, including the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Bangladesh and logistics / port stakeholders at the Port of Chittagong helped to confirm key issues and needs, while an open dialogue with the Ministry of Commerce provided the broad economic and trade context from the Government of Bangladesh. The mission resulted in a comprehensive assessment of positive developments in facilitating trade in Bangladesh, along with a broad appreciation of Bangladesh’s current needs and challenges with respect to TFA implementation.

The outcomes of this mission will be used to establish a joint forward plan for capacity building support, including a series of activities to be supported by the HMRC-WCO-UNCTAD TFA Capacity Building Programme under the framework of the tailor-made track of the WCO’s Mercator Programme which is designed to assist WCO members to effectively implement the TFA using the WCO’s instruments and tools. This support will be aligned, and delivered in parallel with support from other development partners, and will target areas where joint delivery seen to be the most effective means to leverage the respective strengths of the WCO and other development partners in the trade facilitation space.