6 Dec 2016

WTI partners with SIECA to train Central American stakeholders on trade facilitation

Pierre Sauvé, the WTI’s Director for Programme Development, taught on the opening day of a five-day course on ‘Challenges of Governance of Trade and Integration in Central America: Trade Facilitation’ held at the headquarters of the Secretariat for Economic Integration in Central America (SIECA) in Guatamala City, Guatemala, on 5 December.

The trade facilitation course is a joint initiative of the Center for Studies on Economic Integration (CEIE) of SIECA and WTI, and seeks to strengthen regional public sector capacities to implement the trade facilitation agenda and to provide inputs to private sector representatives to better exploit the opportunities for better customs management.

The knowledge partnership, which the parties hope to extend to several other areas of trade and investment governance, was initiated by MILE alumnus and SIECA Executive Director Javier Gutierrez. The course features contributions by experts from the SIECA Secretariat, the World Trade Organization and the Inter-American Development Bank.

In his lecture, Sauvé recalled how the full implementation of the World Trade Organization's Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) could lead to a reduction of up to 15 percent in global trade costs, a gain significantly larger than the full elimination of all remaining tariff impediments to trade. Studies show that full TFA implementation could further raise the share of small and medium-sized enterprises in cross-border operations by between 60 and 80 percent, providing major benefits to developing country SMEs.

SIECA is a regional body that facilitates the economic integration of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama, members of the Central American Integration System (SICA).