Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

29 July 2014

Tanzania: Skilled Trade Negotiators Needed

LACK of experienced experts with strong negotiation skills is one among the main setbacks that fail many African countries from excelling into international trade.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Mr Uledi Mussa, made the revelation in Dar es Salaam over the weekend when closing a 10-day Regional Advanced Negotiations Simulation Skills Course for English-Speaking African Countries.

"You will agree with me that many African countries still have the challenge of having enough qualified negotiations to participate in trade negotiations.

"Therefore capacity building in this area is very important for us while we are participating in various Regional trade arrangements and involving in the multilateral trading system," he said. International trade negotiations facilitate the economic growth of many countries as it promotes trade.

In order for a country to succeed in trade negotiations, it requires among others experienced experts with strong negotiations skills to respond to challenging trade negotiations agenda.

The PS noted that lack of such experts is also the main challenge behind poor contracts that are entered into by African countries and other nations in trade negotiations.

"The other challenge is that many African countries fail to gain any market access for their products due to tariffs and non- tariff measures when engaging in bilateral business," he noted.

Commenting on the Course, the PS noted that the course facilitated by the World Trade Organization (WTO) aimed at providing technical assistance to build capacities of the developing and least developed countries in various areas of international trade organizations.

He said that participants at the course came from 23 African countries mainly to acquire skills to enable them prepare plans and participate in actual trade negotiations in order to protect and defend the interests of his or her country.

Giving a vote of thanks to WTO, the PS asked the participants to make good use of the knowledge gained to contribute in pursuing African countries' interests at multilateral level in view of achieving the objectives of boosting African trade.

The course, according to the PS, came after Tanzania requested WTO to facilitate the state in building skills among her experts on the bilateral trade negotiations.

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