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National Workshop On SPS Agreement, Notification Underway

Sep 24, 2009, 5:28 AM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

A two-day national workshop on Sanitary and Pyhtosanitary Agreement SPS and Notification training, yesterday kicked-off at the Atlantic Hotel in Banjul.

Deputising for the Minister of Trade, Industry and Employment, the Permanent Secretary Mrs. Fatou Njie and the Director of Trade, commended the Agency for International Trade, Information and Cooperation (AITIC) for partnering with her office in organising the retreat.

She applauded AITIC for being a strong partner of the WTO members in their efforts to meet the challenges of compliance with multilateral trade agreements, such as SPS and TBT Agreement, in particular.

She pointed out that AITIC in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade and Employment has organised a similar training on TBT and SPS notification requirement, under the agreements since this training is a follow-up to the previous training.

"In keeping with annex B (3) of the SPS an TBT agreements, respectively that WTO members shall ensure that enquiry point exist which shall be responsible for the provision of answers to all reasonable questions and well as for the provision of relevant documents regarding SPS and TBT'" she added .

"The establishment of the enquiry points for SPS and TBT in The Gambia is long overdue, given the central role played by trade in international economic relations, the setting up of these two enquiry points is an indication of my ministry's efforts to meet The Gambia's obligations under the multilateral trade system. Within the multilateral trade agreement under the WTO, tariff is the only instrument of protection allowed generally by the general agreement on trade and tariff ( GATT94), which is not always adhered to by every  WTO members," she stated.

Minister Kah's representative added that this training workshop therefore constitutes an important step in the process to ensure that our products have access to the international market.

"The training will also reinforce our knowledge on two important multilateral trade agreements, as well as make us become aware of our obligations as a member country under the WTO rules," she concluded.

The occasion was graced by officials from Agency International Trade Information and the Cooperation in the person of Dr. Esperanza Duran, and the AITIC Consultants.