Senior representatives from the U.S. Embassy in Mozambique and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), along with their partners from the Instituto Nacional de Normalização e Qualidade (INNOQ), gathered to celebrate the launch of the country’s National Enquiry Point (NEP).
The new and improved National Enquiry Point in Mozambique will benefit trade by identifying standards, technical regulations, and conformity procedures to improve regional and global market access. Although INNOQ already possessed a National Enquiry Point, USAID supported new Information technology and office equipment, extensive training, development of promotional materials, and a series of public outreach events that have expanded its reach and access, while reinvigorating the overall role of the NEP. The improvement of the NEP answers the requirement under the WTO Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement, stating that member nations must develop effective enquiry points and strengthen their legal and regulatory framework for standards in order to increase trade.
The INNOQ in partnership with USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub undertook an ambitious collaboration to reinvigorate the National Enquiry Point over the last 14 months. “Given the importance of efficient trade to economic growth in Mozambique, the U.S. government is pleased to support the development and re-launch of the Enquiry Point,” stated USAID/Mozambique Mission Director, Alex Dickie.
Support provided to Mozambique forms an integral part of USAID’s efforts to increase competitiveness, intra-regional trade and food security in Southern Africa. Similar National Enquiry Point initiatives were undertaken in Zambia, Malawi, Lesotho, Swaziland, and Botswana, with each program customized to meet the needs of the respective local organizations and Enquiry Points.