Trade Information Portal Launch – DCM Martina Boustani’s Opening Remarks – Dakar, June 19, 2018

Opening Remarks for DCM Martina Boustani
Trade Information Portal Launch
Dakar, June 19, 2018

(As delivered)

 

  • Monsieur le Ministre du Commerce, du Secteur informel, de la Consommation, de la Promotion des produits locaux et des PME,
  • Monsieur le Directeur Général des Douanes,
  • Mesdames et Messieurs les représentants des ministères, agences et services techniques,
  • Mesdames et Messieurs les représentants du secteur privé,
  • Mesdames et Messieurs les représentants de la société civile
  • Mesdames messieurs représentants et chers collègues partenaires techniques et financiers
  • Mesdames et Messieurs,

Thank you for inviting us today to the official launch of the Trade Information Portal (Portail d’Informations Commerciales).  It is with great pleasure that we celebrate with you the achievement of this important trade objective.  This is precisely the type of successful collaboration we envisioned in 2015 when the U.S. Ambassador and the Minister of Commerce signed an MOU to facilitate improved trade and investment in Senegal. .

The creation of this Trade Information Portal was identified by the Government of Senegal’s National Trade Facilitation Committee as a critical first step towards meeting the obligations of the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement for which Senegal became a signatory in 2016.

A lack of transparency and predictability constitutes one of the major obstacles to the development of international trade.  Businesses are reluctant to engage in international trade relationships with partners in countries where regulations are not known, procedures evolve at the discretion of government officials, or where the possibilities of recourse do not exist or are not clear and effective.

As an electronic platform that brings together all trade-related regulations and procedures applied by Senegal’s government departments and agencies, the Trade Information Portal promotes clear and transparent policies and procedures that help to ensure a stable, low-risk environment for trade and investment.  And thanks to this Trade Information Portal, trade actors will be able to comply with the Trade Facilitation agreement while contributing to the improvement of the business climate in Senegal.

This project has required an enormous amount of effort and the mobilization of resources across the Government of Senegal with the assistance of our partners.  For that, the Government of Senegal should be congratulated.  However, the hardest part remains. If the Trade Portal is to be enduring and effective, its content should be thorough and continually updated.  It requires strong management that has the support of the Ministry of Commerce and all the stakeholders in the Government of Senegal.

Moving forward, we encourage any Senegalese efforts that help to:

  • reduce barriers to doing business,
  • facilitate the free flow of goods across Senegal’s borders
  • and reduce the time, cost, and risk of doing business

It is our hope, that in partnership with you, Senegal will continue to implement measures within the Trade Facilitation Agreement that will reduce the time and cost of doing business in Senegal.  And the U.S. Government looks forward to continued partnership with you in providing support for these types of initiatives.

Initiatives like the Trade Information Portal not only benefit the actors of international trade but also the Senegalese people, who are on their journey to prosperity.

I thank you, once again, for being here this morning to celebrate this important tool.  And for those of you watching the match later today, “Allez le Lions.”

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