AT WTO Conference: Prof. Tarpeh Raps On Liberia’s Post Accession Achievements

Prof. Tarpeh and Mr. Addy pose for the Press
Prof. Tarpeh and Mr. Addy pose for the Press
Photo Credit: Axel Addy

Wednesday: July 10, 2019: The Minister of Commerce and Industry, Professor Wilson K. Tarpeh, says Liberia remains committed to upholding the provisions of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Minister Tarpeh said Liberia is in the process of ratifying the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), which will set forth a series of measures for expeditiously moving goods across bounders through best practices from around the world.

He said the CDC –led Government, under the leadership of President George Manneh Weah,  will ensure that WTO instruments aimed at boosting effective trade in Liberia are promoted to the letter. Minister Tarpeh disclosed that as   a manifestation of Liberia’s commitment to effective and value added trade; constructive steps have been taken by government. He outlined some of the actions as reforming the importing regime by reducing the time needed for import, in line with efforts to reduce their final cost to the consumer.

The Liberian Chief Trade Negotiator disclosed that Government is   working to build a special economic zone, that specifically serves as incubator for exporting firms and model of what Liberia could look like with developed infrastructure, lower energy cost and faster administrative processes.

Minister Tarpeh also spoke about extensive negotiations and talks with trading regime stakeholders to identify other bottlenecks that impede trade flows in the country.
At the gathering,  Professor Tarpeh also discussed challenges faced over the past three years since Liberia’s admittance into the WTO.
“I can only speak to the progress made over the past 18 months since President George Weah’s election and subsequent inauguration in January 2018 and since I took office at the ministry of Commerce and industry.” He said. Minister Tarpeh noted further that Liberia needs   technical support to devise many policies and appropriate funding to implement them. He told the gathering that program of assistance to Trade Support Institutions in Liberia (PASTIL) has been of great assistance.
Professor Tarpeh however called for  knowledge sharing across West Africa on best practices in order to avoid repeating mistakes and leading from successful policies from our neighbors.

The Commerce and Industry Minister made the commitment recently in Geneva, Switzerland, during the   2nd Forum on WTO Accessions: Technical Assistance and Capacity Building for Economic Transformation and Sustainable Peace Building.

The forum, organized by the WTO Secretariat from Wednesday, July 3- 5, 2019, also coincided with Liberia’s Third Year of accession to the World Trade Organization.

The WTO forum also drew participants from other parts of the globe, including, Sherri-Nouane Duncan-Jones, Senior Development Advisor, USAID, Caroline Freud, Director, Trade, Regional Integration, and Investment Cimate, World  Bank, Andrew Staines(UK), Chairperson of the Working Party on the Accession of the Bahamas,Mohammed Qurban Haqjo, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Afghanistan, the  Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Investments and Foreign Trade of Uzbekistan, Abidov Bardriddin, the Deputy Director General at the Department of WTO Affairs, at the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China, Zhen Wang, Katsuro Nagal of Japan, with a closing remark coming from the Director of Accessions Division at the  WTO Secretariat, Maika Oshikawa,etc.


Jacob N.B. Parley
Communications Director