Wednesday 2020-05-27

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ESWATINI TRADE INFORMATION PORTAL 40% ON TRACK DESPITE COVID-19

By Qondile Ntiwane | 2020-05-11

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and its negative effect on business, content development on Eswatini’s first ever trade information portal is making good progress.

Content for the project is now at over 40 per cent, according to the ministry of commerce, industry and trade.

The ETIP, which is scheduled to be rolled-out during the third quarter of the year, was successfully launched in February during an event held at the Hilton Garden Inn attended by Cabinet ministers, Eswatini Revenue Authority officials and the private sector.

It is facilitated by the Eswatini National Trade Facilitation Committee with technical assistance from the World Bank International Finance Corporation (WB-IFC)

Describing the project, Ministry of Commerce Communications Officer Thabile Mdluli said the portal would serve as a tool for traders to obtain, from one single source, all the information they need to export and import. 

“The portal will enhance accessibility to pertinent data on imports and exports in Eswatini; and therefore position the kingdom as one with vast opportunities in terms of trade to the global landscape,” Mdluli said. Mdluli said this portal was particularly important because importers or exporters in any country typically required a range of information in order to comply with their regulatory obligations.

“This information remains in the domain of a number of different government agencies and often overlaps with or impacts another. This results in a trader having to seek information from more than one place, which in turn involves having to go to the agencies in person.

“Often, in the absence of a single authoritative reference point, the interpretation of certain requirements by one agency may contradict with the way requirements are interpreted by another agency, causing unnecessary effort and cost to be expended in attempting to meet various regulatory requirements,” she added.

On another note, Mdluli announced that ETIP’s first newsletter was officially released two weeks ago and is being distributed to the private sector and other key stakeholders.

The pre-launch site is available on www.eswatinitradeportal.com and importers and exporters are encouraged to browse through in order to make their contributions.

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