Date: 28/11/2017

Trade Facilitation Conference

Amcham and USAID REG jointly organized a conference on "Public-Private Dialogue For Facilitation Of Foreign Trade” which highlighted the importance of establishing a National Coordinating Body for Facilitating Foreign Trade, and other issues from foreign trade areas.

Along with numerous representatives of AmCham member companies, relevant state institutions, the US Embassy in Serbia and USAID, an annual conference dedicated to the field of foreign trade was held. In addition to the importance of establishing the National Coordinating Body for Facilitating Foreign Trade, one of the key issues highlighted at the conference is the identification and resolution of obstacles on the way to more efficient import-export procedures that lead to more intensive economic growth.

In his introductory speech, Rasim Ljajić, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications, emphasized that further efforts should be made to develop the import and export of the Republic of Serbia and to remove customs and non-barriers. Minister Ljajić thanked AmCham on this occasion for providing support in the establishment of the National Coordination Body for Facilitating Foreign Trade.

Pointing out the importance of founding efforts, Jelena Pavlovic, first vice-president of the AmCham Board of Directors, invited other business associations to get involved in the work of this body and make their contribution to the simplification of foreign trade procedures. "We believe that the work of the Coordination Body will lead to the creation of uniform, transparent and equally implemented procedures with the aim of improving efficiency, while preserving legitimate regulatory goals," Pavlovic said.

US Ambassador to Serbia Kyle Scott stressed that the establishment of the National Coordination Body for Facilitating Foreign Trade is an important milestone for Serbia and its leadership role in the region, and that this step will bring Serbia closer to membership in the World Trade Organization and its accession to the European Union .

The AmCham Foreign Trade Facilitation Committee, which has been involved in over 50 companies from various industries for two years now, is assisting the Government of the Republic of Serbia in rationalizing procedures and managing the flow of goods across national borders. The result of this dedicated work, and constructive cooperation with the Ministry of Trade, the Ministry of Finance and the Customs Administration, is the establishment of the National Coordination Body, which represents an effective mechanism of public-private sector coordination and contributes to accelerating international trade and reducing costs in foreign trade.

Quality control and safety of products placed in the market without unnecessary procedures, which will allow for undisturbed trade, is one of the future challenges of the National Coordinating Body for Facilitating Foreign Trade. Technical, organizational and other measures are needed to adequately address these issues, while the capacity building of state authorities for these and other issues is of major importance.

After introductory remarks, two panels were held regarding the removal of non-tariff barriers through the newly established National Coordinating Body for facilitating foreign trade and the removal of non-tariff barriers in the context of the CEFTA agreement and other regional initiatives.