The National Trade Facilitation Body (NTFB) partnered with the USAID Regional Economic Growth (REG) Project, AmCham, and the World Bank Group to organize a conference devoted to public-private dialogue for facilitation of foreign trade. This event highlighted the importance of streamlining foreign trade procedures, where an important step has already been taken with the creation of the NTFB, which will serve as an efficient means of public-private coordination for trade facilitation initiatives.
This annual foreign trade conference brought together numerous representatives of AmCham member companies, relevant state institutions, the US Embassy in Serbia, and USAID.
Apart from highlighting the significance of the NTFB in facilitating foreign trade, Rasim Ljajić, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications, emphasized that additional efforts should be made to promote Serbian imports and exports and remove tariff and non-tariff barriers. Mr Ljajić thanked the business community and donors for assisting with the establishment of the NTFB.
US Ambassador to Serbia Kyle Scott stressed that the establishment of the NTFB was an important milestone for Serbia and its leading role in the region, and that this step would bring Serbia closer to membership in the World Trade Organization and accession to the European Union.
Jelena Pavlović, First Vice President of the AmCham Board of Governors, also spoke about the importance of the NTFB and invited other business associations to become involved in its work and so contribute to trade facilitation. “We believe that the NTFB will ensure harmonized, transparent, and consistent procedures so as to enhance efficiency while safeguarding legitimate regulatory objectives”, Ms Pavlović concluded.
The introductions were followed by two panel discussions devoted to the removal of non-tariff barriers through the new NTFB and in the context of CEFTA and other regional initiatives.