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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


Welcome and Setting the scene
Welcome speech: Ms Elisabeth Tuerk, UNECE Economic Cooperation and Trade Director

Setting the scene: Ms Birgit Viohl, Co-Domain Coordinator

Session 1: Value and “cost” of participating in an NTFB?
Moderator: Ms Lorena Montoya


  • Ms Eva Razafimandimby, Executive Director, Madagascar Export Processing Zone Association   BIO
  • Mr Georges Francis Moutlen, Executive Secretary, GPAC & SCADTC   BIO
  • Mr Xavier Rosero Carrillo, Vice-president, Ecuadorian Exporters Federation  BIO

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: Mr Jake Shostag, Co-Domain Coordinator


  • Ms Kim Campbell, President, mkmarin trade services inc   BIO
  • Ms Camila Romero, Trade Facilitation Specialist, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Paraguay   BIO
  • Ms Gabriela Uquillas, Representative, Chamber of Commerce of Guayaquil   BIO
  • Mr. Kubilay Şimşek, Acting Manager, Foreign Trade Division of TOBB   BIO

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: Ms Birgit Viohl, Co-Domain Coordinator