Last week Kenya adopted the draft country position paper on 8th Triennial Review on operation and implementation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement during a stakeholders’ meeting in Nairobi, Kenya. This was a culmination of the USAID Hub-supported national stakeholders’ preparatory workshops, conducted by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS). 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 Kenya, scheduled for 19-21 June 2018 in Geneva. The review process contributes to the effective and efficient implementation of the WTO TBT Agreement, which ensures that regulations, standards, testing and certification procedures do not create unnecessary obstacles to trade.
Twenty-six stakeholders participated in the meeting. Attendees included major economic players drawn from public and private sectors institutions who work towards the implementation of WTO TBT Agreement.
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. Kenya was able to beat the deadline for submission of substantive proposals by members that had been slated for June 1, 2018.
With the Hub’s support in convening stakeholders and raising awareness of the review’s importance, Kenya 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 Kenya’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.