GNBS launches WTO database to enhance trade relations among member states

DPI, Guyana, Monday, April 09, 2018

The Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) today launched the World Trade Organisation/Technical Barrier to Trade Agreement (TBT) Enquiry Point (database) to enhance local trade bodies and improve trade relations with member states of the WTO.

Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin.

Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin explained the TBT enquiry point is a mechanism used to notify international stakeholders of changes in trade regulations within WTO member states. He noted it also allows for countries to provide feedback on those changes.

“It is a useful tool for both local and international stakeholders but will only serve us if we make full use of it. The importance of the information cannot be denied and should not be taken lightly.”

The minister expressed hope that the TBT enquiry point will be used by stakeholders to increase trade and trade efficiency between Guyana and other countries.

He opined, “exports must meet the requirements of the countries we are exporting to. With the best technology and with the best marketing strategy, with the most important means of shipping; if our certification procedures and our regulations are not sufficiently enabling then our businesses will lose out on export opportunities.”

Minister Gaskin stressed the importance of international trade for economic and business developments in countries, especially since it strengthens diplomatic relations.

He believes local standards and regulations established by regulatory bodies in countries, not only aim to enhance trade relations but also serve in the interest of consumers by safeguarding against harmful goods and services.

Director of GNBS, Candelle Walcott-Bostwick.

Minister Gaskin commended the GNBS for launching the TBT enquiry point and said he looks forward to seeing it being used to reduce technical barriers to trade. “Both public and private sector have to work hand in hand in order to ensure these systems work in the way they were designed to work; and that Guyana economy benefits from having modern systems in place.”

Director of the GNBS, Candelle Walcott-Bostwick said the agency is elated to provide such an outlet for local stakeholders. “The TBT Enquiry Point will also provide opportunities for regulators to ensure that the conformity assessment used to approve exports and imports are equivalent to what is practiced by other member states.”

Walcott-Bostwick emphasised that the launch of the TBT Enquiry Point signifies the bureau’s commitment towards national development in Guyana.

She admonished local manufacturers and exporters to partner with the GNBS to become au-fait with the standards and systems required to become competitive on both the local and international level.

“We will from today actively provide our exporters, manufacturers, regulators and other interested parties who register with us, on updates for national, regional and international standards which can affect your business.”

The TBT Enquiry point fits directly into the government’s policy of economic diplomacy, according to Acting Director of Trade at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sherwyn Naughton. “It serves as an economic instrument in the conduct of relations at the bilateral, regional and multilateral levels. It would be a mechanism for addressing matters of everyday commercial and social significance.”

Naughton believes the launch will also aid Guyana with implementing the recommendation made at the 2015 WTO trade policy review, which states “Guyana would participate more fully in the multilateral trading system if it expanded its economic infrastructure and further strengthen governance and the regulatory environment.”

In March 2010, the GNBS was designated as the TBT Enquiry point for Guyana which was charged with supplying WTO and foreign countries, with information on compulsory local standards and technical regulations related to products under the TBT agreement.

Stakeholders attending the launch of GNBS WTO/Technical Barrier to Trade Agreement Enquiry Point.

Director of Trade (ag) at the Minister of Foreign
Affairs, Sherwyn Naughton.

 

By: Crystal Stoll

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