Web based trade information portal to be developed
As one of the beneficiaries of the SASEC Trade Facilitation Program ( STFP) implemented with funds from the Asian Development Bank ( ADB), the Department of Trade under the Ministry of Economic Affairs proposed to develop a web based Trade Information Portal ( TIP). The program is intended to serve as a single- stop point for all information relating to import and export including transit, and assist traders in obtaining relevant information on rules and regulations of each government organization for export and import. Setting up of trade information portal is also aimed to facilitate trade and im- prove transparency. The proposal was approved by ADB but with suggestion that a feasibility study on trade portal should be conducted first following which the development of the portal would be pursued as per the recommendations of the study that would subsequently be discussed and finalized with the stakeholders.
But before the kickstart of the project, the Department realized the need to create awareness on trade information portal particularly for the people who would be involved in the project. The Department of Trade with financial assistance from ADB, therefore, organized Bhutan Trade Information Portal Workshop from 21- 22 January at Hotel Druk, Phuentsholing .
The main objectives was to raise awareness of and better understanding on Trade Information Portal for the project team of the Department and participants from relevant OGAs, including NTTFC Secretariat and traders in the private sector, to discuss the current situation on trade information and the requirement of such a portal to expand and facilitate trade, to draw broad parameters for information related to trade and transit that may be incorporated into the portal, with stakeholders’ recommendations so as to strengthen the proposed TIP’s relevance, validity, functionality and long- term sustain- ability, to provide a common platform for and solicit cooperation and commitments from stakeholders for successful development of the TIP , to examine linkages between the TIP and RAMIS, and between TIP and a possible national single window ( NSW) in the future , to learn and get exposed to international best practices from other countries’ TIPs within the regions and developed countries , to understand important aspects of TIP policies, bylaws, regulations and agreements and to introduce the consultants to stakeholders.
The participants of the workshop are from all relevant government agencies and private sector. There are about 39 participants in the workshop.