What does this mean for the private sector? Signatories to the agreement believe that the major beneficiaries of this agreement is the private sector entities that fully embrace the WTO TFA. Through improved global trade mechanisms, new exporters will experience a smoother process that facilitates access to markets otherwise blocked by complicated trade procedures; trade exports worldwide are expected to grow by 20 per cent while associated costs are expected to be reduced by as much as 14 per cent. WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo’s comments on the entry into force of the agreement here.
The benefits at both the private sector and country level require a commitment to public-private dialogue, (PPD). Governments create the policies that facilitate trade however, benefits can only be derived if the private sector is able to implement those policies and this is most effectively achieved when there is active engagement in the process through consultation and collaboration.
What does the green light mean for us? Upon entry into force of the Agreement on February 22, 2017, St. Kitts-Nevis became accountable for implementing all the procedures filed under Category A. It also requires us to now submit information under Category B (provisions that will be implemented after a transition period) and Category C (provisions for which we require technical assistance).
The Agreement means more than this for the private sector. We have a golden opportunity to enhance our export development strategy by expanding it to include indigenous entities, positioning products in new markets. The small size of our twin island Federation (St. Kitts and Nevis) does not determine our bench strength ergo our capacity to perform on a global level. With active embassies around the world, it is time for us to deepen the conversation about the paving the stepping stones for our future in the global trade arena.