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Trade & Transport Facilitation conference kicks off in Aqaba

Red Sea city in Jordan focuses on facilitating trade

Trade & Transport Facilitation conference kicks off in Aqaba

Rome, September 3 - The second edition of the Trade and Transport Facilitation conference that kicked off on Tuesday in Aqaba, Jordan, provides a unique occasion for government officials, trade specialists and professionals from the public and private sector to brainstorm, share knowledge and discuss best practices in their sectors. The conference is especially focused on the single-window system - a trade facilitation idea that enables international, cross-border traders to submit regulatory documents at a single location and/or single entity. Under the Patronage of the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) Chief Commissioner Kamel Mahadin, and with the cooperation of Transport Minister Lina Shbeeb, the event is hosted by ACE, the Aqaba Centre of Excellence, a regional platform of knowledge exchange supporting computerized trade facilitation initiatives in the Middle East and Africa. ACE is the result of the cooperation between the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and ASEZA. ACE hosts regional and global conferences gathering representatives from both public and private sectors with the active participation of the Ministry of Transport of Jordan, Jordan Customs and ASEZA. Mahadin noted that "this event with the participation of delegates representing over 17 countries is a golden opportunity for exchanging knowledge and experience in the fields of transportation and logistics and in developing means of cooperation as far as the challenges facing counties in the region with regards to the single window concept that is becoming essential for trade facilitation worldwide". Mahadin added the "Aqaba zone has become a unique hub for trade and logistics services with its multi-model transportation facilities, along with its attractive and competitive business environment". Minister Shbeeb said that "trade facilitation and providing a national database that complies with international standards for shipping and clearance is a priority to insure there is no duplication in procedures and the efficiency of the workflow. This is highly important to develop investments and enhance the Jordanian economy". Fabrice Millet, Chief of the ASYCUDA Program from the United Nations Center of Trade and Development (UNCTAD) commended the Jordanian government and ASEZA for taking the initiative and organizing this event. Parties and countries interested in facilitating transportation and trading will discuss best internationally applicable procedures and examine the role of the single window concept in improving procedures, reducing time and costs. Participants will also exchange experiences and present successful stories for those countries applying the single-window approach to facilitate transportation and trade. As a multi-model transportation hub, Aqaba will present the evolved ports system found in the zone. Round tables will be held with the Jordanian Ministry of Transportation on technology used to apply the single-window concept. Experiences from Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda will be presented and electronic customs procedures from the Caribbean and Mediterranean countries such as Italy explained. A presentation on the Aqaba warehouse system, which is specialized in automating the procedures for storing such as entry and exit data, will close the conference. The main sponsors of the conference include the Aqaba Development Corporation, Aqaba Container Terminal, Aqaba Ports Corporation, Marsa Zayed, Aqaba International Industrial Estate, Aqaba National Real Estate Project Company (ANREPCO), Saraya Al Aqaba Project and Nafith Logistics Services.

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