- December 23, 2020
- Posted by: KenTrade
Trade Facilitation Portals (TFP), also known as Trade Information Portals, are one-stop shops that make easily accessible all information on trade procedures. Specially designed for traders, TFPs provide useful, clear, precise and up-to-date information on import, export and transit formalities. TFPs present trade procedures in a step-by-step format that shows businesses and potential traders all the requirements for completing a trade transaction, including required documents, costs, relevant laws, time required to complete each step and more. By building transparency on formalities, TFPs help traders become fully compliant with trade requirements.
One of the core objectives of MARKUP is to enhance and promote national and regional TFPs – in partnership with UNCTAD and TradeMark East Africa – to facilitate EAC business, in particular SME access to exporting, and support regional integration. The EAC Regional Trade Information Portal, covering so far Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, is an important milestone in this endeavour.
The Information for Trade in Kenya Portal (InfoTradeKE), a part of this regional TFP, was developed by the Kenya Trade Network Agency (KenTrade) in partnership with TradeMark East Africa, UNCTAD and the Market Access Upgrade Programme (MARKUP) implemented by the International Trade Centre (ITC). MARKUP is a regional trade development initiative addressing both the supply side and the market access constraints of selected key export-oriented sectors. MARKUP is EU-funded and implemented by a series of partners, including ITC, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and other national partners.
InfoTradeKE provides a comprehensive, single-point access to up-to-date trade related information that assists traders in making informed choices. Through the portal, traders can see all the compliance requirements for the import, export and transit of specific commodities. By implementing the InfoTradeKE portal, Kenya has enhanced its compliance with the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement. Access to readily available trade information has been a barrier in Kenya, especially for the private sector. InfoTradeKE aims at enhancing the environment of doing business by reducing the costs and time spent on understanding and completing trade procedures.
To date, the InfoTradeKE team has fully mapped the procedures of 74 commodities. Moreover, documentation of trade procedures has uncovered complexities, bottlenecks and redundancies in the current trade processes. Through the assessment of procedures on the portal, regulatory agencies and other relevant stakeholders can identify the areas requiring simplification and harmonisation, e.g. by eliminating repetitive steps, redundancies and duplication of requirements. Simplification initiatives have already yielded a reduction in the number of steps, requirements and time taken for the export procedures of coffee, tea, flowers and meat products.
The Portal is now visited by approximately 10’000 visitors monthly. MARKUP is supporting InfoTradeKe to grow the visibility of InfoTradeKe and reach an even wider audience.
The ultimate goal of MARKUP is to contribute to the economic development of the EAC region by improving market access to the EU and the East African region itself. The aim is to position the EAC on the global stage as a competitive, sustainable and dynamic export-led region and as a single source of exports of agribusiness and horticultural products.
MARKUP through ITC is supporting InfoTradeKE to increase its visibility through a two-month digital media campaign to grow the private sector’s awareness of TFPs.