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37th UN/CEFACT Forum Webinar: Strengthening Private Sector participation in National Trade Facilitation Bodies (NTFB)

Investing into more relevant trade facilitation reforms

12 October 2021 13:30 - 16:00
Virtual meeting Geneva Switzerland

Taking place during the 37th United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) FORUM (4-15 October 2021).


In this webinar, UN/CEFACT aims to discuss practices that have been used to increase private sector participation in National Trade Facilitation Bodies (NTFB).  This includes actions taken to strengthen public-private partnerships – both successful and non-successful. There will be discussion on current research findings as well as presentations by experts from both the public and private sectors.  Audience participation will also be strongly encouraged.

There is an active UN/CEFACT Trade Procedures Facilitation (TPF) Domain project entitled, “Encouraging Private Sector Participation in National Trade Facilitation Bodies (NTFB)”. This research-intensive undertaking is focused on the identification of best practices and effective methods for strengthening private sector participation in NTFB.  Findings from the presentations and discussions during this webinar will be taken into consideration for the White Paper deliverable of this project.

Increasing private sector engagement in NTFB positively impacts both operational effectiveness and sustainability.  Ultimately, the development of these public-private sector relationships improves the relevance and quality of NTFB decisions. It is widely recognized that private sector participation is a key element of most NTFB.

NTFB are tasked with encouraging consultation and collaboration between public and private stakeholders with the goal of developing more effective trade facilitation and simplification strategies.  It is therefore important for NTFB to best understand how private sector engagement can be stimulated and retained.  There are numerous barriers commonly encountered by NTFB attempting to increase private sector participation including differing motivations, mindsets, perceptions, knowledge, and use of terminology.  Overcoming these barriers provides useful and higher-quality outputs. 

With this webinar UN/CEFACT aims to learn from the successes and failures of others who have been tasked with the challenge of increasing participation in NTFB.  The findings of the webinar will be reflected in the White Paper on “Encouraging private sector participation in NTFB”.

This webinar aims to provide insights for broadening and strengthening the organizational framework and performance of National Trade Facilitation Bodies (NTFB).  This will be accomplished by experts sharing firsthand experiences on engaging and retaining private sector participation in NTFB. Furthermore, it will contribute to an active UN/CEFACT White Paper project addressing similar subject matter.

Speakers from the public and private sector familiar with the work and challenges of NTFB will discuss the following aspects:

  • Different models for private sector membership in NTFB
  • The role of Chamber of Commerce and professional associations
  • Outreach and communication tools for mobilization
  • Expectations and contributions of the private sector
  • Benefits of participation in NTFB for public and private sector

Target Audience

  • Private sector representatives
  • Government officials – including delegations to the WTO
  • Members of existing National Trade Facilitation Bodies / Committees
  • Donor organizations


To register for this webinar, please use this link.

Alternatively, you can register to participate in this webinar when also registering for the UN/CEFACT 37th Forum. You can register for multiple meetings at the same time. Click on the Registration URL.  Select each session that you plan to attend (attention, there are often more than one session for each group ; be sure to select all relevant meetings – the links will be different for the morning and afternoon sessions, so be sure to choose both).

Click “Register” at the bottom of the page. 

You will then need to fill out a brief form (name and organization). As these meetings will be open to any individual, you will also be required to accept the UN/CEFACT IPR Policy, IPR Policy Summary and Code of Conduct relevant for these meetings.

You will receive a confirmation of your registration for each individual session (if you checked 25 boxes, you will receive 25 separate email confirmations). 

Prior to the event, you are strongly encouraged to consult the "Webinar Best Practice" document which provides guidance on how each expert should participate and also provides some trouble-shooting tips 

Draft Agenda

Welcome and Setting the scene
Speaker: UNECE Director and UN/CEFACT Bureau

Session 1: Value and “cost” of participating in an NTFB?
Moderator: UN/CEFACT Domain Coordinator

This panel will discuss why companies / associations care about the work of the NTFB and what activities are relevant to the private sector. Questions to be addressed include:

  • Which activities and areas do the private sector care about?
  • What’s the relationship between goal of an NTFB and private sector objectives?
  • What’s needed to effectively engage with an NTFB?
  • The session will end with time for questions and answers       

Session 2: Value of private sector participation for an NTFB
Moderator: UN/CEFACT Domain Coordinator

This panel will discuss why it matters for NTFB to have active private sector engagement on the basis of practicality. Questions to be addressed include:

  • Why do you need private sector to be effective, relevant and sustainable?
  • What is the disadvantage of lacking private sector engagement?
  • What impact can the private sector have on the work of an NTFB?
  • The session will end with time for questions and answers

Summary and recommendations for UN/CEFACT
Moderator: UN/CEFACT Vice Chair