USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub facilitated the formation of national TBT Consultative Committees for Botswana (August 31 - September 1, 2015) and Swaziland (September 3-4, 2015) as part of its program of technical assistance on standards to improve the effectiveness of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) National Enquiry Points (NEPs).
The program is also designed to strengthen the regulatory framework for standards, enhance the standards development process, and improve private sector involvement in standards development.
A National TBT Consultative Committee provides a mechanism for consultation and advisory services at national level, and coordinates and oversees the implementation of the WTO TBT Agreement. Government ministries, regulatory authorities, private sector representatives, and traders’ associations attended the workshops.
The workshops took the participants through the process required to establish a consultative committee by examining best practices and different consultative mechanism models from other countries. Participants also reviewed the obligations of WTO members under the TBT Agreement, the draft terms of reference for a consultative committee, its legal framework, funding models, and sustainability goals. Workshop participants identified champions to promote the consultative mechanism and documented the way forward.
Photo: The National TBT Consultative Committee Workshop for Botswana was held at the Botswana Bureau of Standards in Gaborone.