Global trade summit addresses OGFZA’s key concerns

Managing Director of OGFZA, Umana Okon Umana


This year’s Global Trade Development Week (GTDW) has addressed four key issues in trade and investment that are central to Federal Government’s development plan and the Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority (OGFZA).

The issues were on the front burner at GTDW, a World Trade Organisation (WTO) conference on trade facilitation and development, which held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from October 30, 2017 to November 1, 2017.

The conference with the theme: Navigating Global Trade & Reviving Global Growth: Implementing TFA and Enhancing Capacity Across the Public and Private Sector, addressed the ease of doing business, public-private partnership (PPP) in investment promotion, compliance with laws and regulations governing trade and investment in each jurisdiction, and lowering cost of doing business.

OGFZA had placed a premium on these four concerns as imperatives in its three-year roadmap for the development of the nation’s oil and gas free zones.
Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), a WTO trade protocol, which came into force on February 22, 2017, seeks to ease trade among WTO member nations that have ratified it.

Delegates to the conference, which included four management staff of OGFZA, listened to and interacted with over 80 international experts in trade facilitation, international trade finance, customs administration, compliance issues and training, as well as with other delegates from the Middle-East, Asia, Australia, Europe and the Americas.

Opening the Global Trade Week with a welcome address, Economy Minister of the United Arad Emirate (UAE), HE Engr Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, said the theme of the conference was on facilitating cross-border trading through simplification of procedures at borders and administration requirements.It also provided information and electronic procedures, which help save time, reduce costs and improve customs and logistics standards.

A commissioner in the UAE Federal Customs Authority, HE Ali bin Soubih Alkaabi, said the outcome of the GTDW was expected “to enhance trade capacity and public-private partnership and dialogue to ensure the security of the international supply chain and facilitate global trade.”

Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Mukhisha Kituyi, a Kenyan, was among the six keynote addresses in the first day plenary.

Kituyi called attention to the link between free trade and rising standard of living, and warned against a return to the protectionist trade policies of the past.

Mikhail Kashubsky, who heads the secretariat of the International Network of Customs Universities (INCU), to which Nigeria belongs, described compliance as key to trade facilitation.

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