New trade policy promises to liberate the country


Ministry of Trade and Regional Integration (MoTRI) drafts the first ever trade, quality and livestock trading policies to streamline the country’s economic backbone of commerce and standards.
The draft trade policy targets that the country’s trade will be liberalized in the medium run of the policy implementation.
Despite trade being one of the longest economic rocks of the country, a clear policy to lead the sector has yet to be set.
Because of the sector’s problematic nature, the government over the course of the last five years has placed the gas on the pedal to alleviate these challenges by drawing a clear strategy to curve out a trade policy.
As a result, a draft directive was developed by MoTRI and has been published for additional inputs before its ratification by the Council of Ministers.
The preamble of the draft document indicated that the policy will lead the country’s trade system and will consider trade negotiations, agreements, unification, international practices and trade chains. It will also focus on commodity, service and agro industry sectors that the government and international trade players give priority to.
The trade policy is noted to be based on the creation of a robust trade sector, fair trade, and on the acknowledgement of government’s involvement on selected sectors, in consideration of the efforts of filling the gaps.
As the writings cited, “Even though the country has several bilateral, regional continental agreements to expand its trade relation, lack of a policy framework on the trade sector has created a gap for those who have ample knowledge about the agreements and the opportunity that they made. Due to that the policy will narrow the gap and create opportunity for its citizens.”
The policy also considers the global value chain (GVC) on the trade sector that will allow trading actors and SMEs to be part of the GVC and AfCFTA.
It also mentioned barriers like customs procedures; transport and logistics supplies will be eased through the policy.
The policy documents are said to demand the coordination and involvement of several ministries and other stakeholders.
As noted, the document will be an instrument for the Ethiopian trade system, and is signaled to increase productivity and diversity in the economic drive in order to build reliable and tangible development in the country.
The trade policy also gives priority to harmonize the country’s trading system, export access to input and in the expansion of the international trade besides facilities that open the market.
The policy has put three execution strategies that are classified as short, medium and long run. The initial period will focus on building a capacity for intuitions that are responsible to implement the policy.
The second phase will focus on liberalizing the commerce and the joining of the World Trade Organization on the aim to expand the potential that shall be attained when the market will be opened for global actors.
In the long run, it has targeted to boost the country’s trade and through diversified export items, it aims to attract more investments that shall be backed by a strong economic system.
In related developments, MoTRI has also drafted the first ever quality policy and livestock trading policy.
Currently, the country has regulatory bodies like Ethiopian Standards Agency, Conformity Assessment Agency, and Ethiopian National Accreditation Office which have been formed to control quality and standards but they do not have policy that helps them run on a given legal framework.
The draft policy is said to offer a solution for this and shall abide by a legal framework that allows the country to be competitive. It is further expected to allow the country to develop a required legal framework under the goal of the policy. The quality policy will cover every dimension of production quality whether it is service or goods.
The livestock trading policy also targets to use the country livestock resource properly and expand the benefit from it.
The draft document stated that despite Ethiopia being one of the richest countries on livestock resource, the potential is yet to be fully exploited; as a result the policy was crafted to guide the sector to be run accordingly.


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