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Trade development is recognized as a major contributor to economic growth and job creation in developing countries. Governments allocate substantial national resources to create an enabling environment for trade expansion, including favourable regulatory frameworks, policies, strategies and institutional infrastructure.
Trade facilitation, an area where ALMACO has developed substantial expertise in the past, has now gained more prominence with the new WTO agreement on Trade Facilitation.This, and the fact that the implementation of trade facilitation related projects is one sure way of countries improving their annual "Doing business indicators" is translating to increasing public sector work on trade facilitation.
Development partners are channelling budgetary and technical support to national governments and regional trade development institutions for trade development. ALMACO provides governments with technical support to expand trade and contribute to economic growth.
The primary services we provided in this area include:
National Facilitator for the Joint Integrated ITC/UNCTAD/WTO Programme for technical Assistance to Selected Least Developed and other African Countries (JITAP):This was a three year project aimed at developing capacities of these countries for negotiating multilateral trade agreements including implementation aspects of the WTO agreements.
Ministry of Trade Project
Development of National and Sector Export Strategies: ALMACO assisted the Ministry of Trade and Industry in Kenya to develop the national exports strategy, coffee sector, fish and fish products, horticultural sector exports strategies. In 2011 ALMACO undertook consultancy to assist the Government of Uganda to evaluate its National exports strategy (NES 2008-2012) and to develop the NES 2012-2015.
Trade Facilitation Project
National Coordinator, Trade Facilitation Project in Kenya: This was a three year project aimed at improving the policy and regulatory business environment in Kenya with a view to reducing the cost of doing business and making Kenya a competitive country. One of Almaco's consultants was involved in the development of National export strategies in many parts of the world including: Nigeria, Sierra Leone, the Gambia in West Africa; South Africa ,Botswana, Swaziland, Namibia in Southern Africa; Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zanzibar in East Africa; Belize, Jamaica, Grenada, St Vincent & the grenadines ,Dominica in the Caribbean and FIJI, Tonga and Samoa in the South Pacific
Export Development Strategies
We were the pioneers of the development of National Export Strategies in East Africa and around the Commonwealth developing countries. One of our Consultants was part of the International team that was engaged by the International Trade Centre in 2002 to develop the Template, "The Secrets of Strategy" that has now been used by over 50 countries around the World to develop individual countries' National Export Strategies. One of our Consultants has helped over 16 countries around the World in developing and implementing Export development strategies. These include:
• East Africa: Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zanzibar
• Southern Africa: Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland
• West Africa: Sierra Leone, The Gambia
• Caribbean: Belize,Dominica, Grenada, St Vincent & The Grenadines
• South Pacific: Fiji, Tonga, Samoa
One of our consultants, Isaac Njoroge, is the authour of the widely used handbook on implementing national export strategies; "Implementing a National Export Strategy; Lessons from the Commonwealth" ISBN:978-1-84929-021-0 (Paperback)
Export competitiveness workshop
Between 2008 and 2013, our consultant delivered Regional capacity building Export competitiveness workshops and conferences around the World covering over 30 countries as follows:
• Nairobi covering Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi
• Johannesburg covering South Africa, Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland, Zambia, Seychelles, Mauritius
• Abuja covering Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, The Gambia
• Auckland covering FIJI, Tonga, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Cook Islands, Vanuatu
• St Lucia covering St Lucia, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, St Vincent & The Grenadines, Barbados, Grenada, Belize, Dominica
Third Country Training Programme
Working with the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development,our Consultant delivered two major Pan Commonwealth Conferences on competitiveness that involved all Commonwealth Developing countries from across the five continents.The major outcome of these training programmes was that participants affirmed that they would take at least one lesson from Singapore to implement in their home countries.One of the successes of these lessons is the implementation of "Single Window" systems in many countries including Kenya,Ghana,Uganda and Nigeria.
We were involved in the establishment of the Kenya Committee on WTO where we provided a Consultant as Secretary to the committee. Working with ITC, UNCTAD and WTO, we were involved in the capacity building of the initial body of Kenyan trade negotiators on all WTO agreements relevant to Kenya.Most of these negotiators have played a crucial role in shaping Kenya's and indeed Africa's agenda and participation in most multilateral trade negotiations including WTO, EU/ACP, COMESA and EAC.
Trade can be a key factor in economic development. The prudent use of trade can boost a country's development and create absolute gains for the trading partners involved. Trade has been touted as an important tool in the path to development by prominent economists.