The 14. working meeting of the German Alliance for Trade Facilitation once again provided a valuable platform for the exchange between ministries, companies, and business associations. The two-day event was characterized by expert discussions, project presentations, and the introduction of a new strategic partnership.
Andrea Ulbrich, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), inaugurated the event by stating: “Let us continue working on our mission to make trade faster, simpler, and more secure – while maintaining our valuable collaboration.”
Projects of the German Alliance
The first day focused on giving an overview of the ongoing activities of the German Alliance. In the project “Digitising Global Maritime Trade” (DGMT), stakeholders from the public and private sectors collaborate to enhance the digital access of customs to maritime freight information in Cambodia and Sri Lanka. The global logistics company Maersk is an official project partner and reported on how they contribute their industry expertise, playing an essential role in the implementation.
Additionally, the project team from Kenya highlighted significant progress in the project “Trade Facilitation under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)“. They emphasized the positive relationship between the private sector and customs authorities, which has developed sustainably through collaborating in the project. Furthermore, the Kenyan authorities show great openness to topics around “green” and environmentally friendly trade.
These practical examples illustrated the tangible impacts of the German Alliance’s projects and sparked lively discussions.
Perspectives and Next Steps
The second day commenced with the introduction of the Agency for Business & Economic Development (AWE). AWE is part of the collaboration with economic actors of the BMZ. With a strategic realignment starting in January, the BMZ aims to emphasize even more the partnership between business and development for the common goal of a socio-ecological transformation. As part of this, the secretariat work of the German Alliance will transition to the AWE in the future, aiming to leverage synergies more effectively and create new potentials. Concrete steps will be developed in the coming weeks to strengthen the network further and transition into the new structures.
The next working meeting is planned to take place in person in the first quarter of 2024. If you are interested, please contact the secretariat for more information via firstname.lastname@example.org.