The Hub recently supported the Uganda National Bureau of Standards to conduct a national stakeholders’ preparatory workshop in preparation for the 8th Triennial Review of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement. The workshop was held on 6th-7th February 2018 at Sheraton Hotel in Kampala, Uganda. Participating stakeholders provided feedback on the agreement’s operations and implementation, and agreed upon key concerns to present to the WTO TBT Committee on behalf of Uganda. The review process contributes to the effective and efficient implementation of the WTO TBT Agreement.
Thirty-seven stakeholders participated in the workshop. Attendees included major economic players from the industry and export sectors, public sector officials and members of Uganda’s National TBT/Sanitary and Phytosanitary Committee.
The WTO TBT Agreement requires that WTO members review the agreement every three years. During the review period, all WTO members are encouraged to submit recommendations on how to make the agreement’s implementation more effective and efficient. The WTO TBT Committee then considers the proposals on a rolling basis. This year’s review is expected to end by November 2018. However, the deadline for submission of substantive proposals by members is 1st June 2018.
Uganda played an active role during the last Triennial Review in 2015, emerging as the first WTO member to submit a proposal with a total of 12 recommendations. With the Hub’s support in convening stakeholders and raising awareness of the review’s importance, Uganda will be able to continue its high level of participation in the Triennial Review and improve the country’s compliance level to WTO TBT Agreement. In turn, this will advance Uganda’s trade relationship with the East Africa Community (EAC) Partner States and the U.S., leading to a better regional and international trading and investment environment.