Workshop enhances understanding of potential benefits of TFA

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Workshop enhances understanding of potential benefits of TFA

Post  Sirop14 on Mon Aug 22, 2016 10:02 pm

Workshop enhances understanding of potential benefits of TFA

22-August-2016
A two-day national trade facilitation workshop was held recently at the Eden Bleu Hotel on Eden Island with the aim of assisting businesses to understand the terms, potential benefits and practical use of the technical measures of the new World Trade Organisation (WTO) Agreement on Trade Facilitation and to equip them to successfully contribute to the design, implementation and monitoring of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).
The general objectives of the workshop was to provide businesses with a sound understanding of the potential benefits and practical objective of each of the technical measures of the TFA and requirements to complement their business priorities.
The workshop also looked at transparency in cross border processing and how the TFA promotes fairness and non-discrimination. It further elaborated on how companies can improve on working with cross border agencies, influence efforts to improve business efficiency and develop a set of actions to participate in the drive towards improved trade facilitation.
The workshop was attended by representatives from government ministries, divisions and agencies as well as representatives from a broad spectrum of the private sector which included the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), freight forwarders, shipping agents, cargo handlers, clearing agents, insurance companies and the fish processing companies.
“The TFA is designed to ease the movement of goods across borders with the aim of reducing the cost, time and process of doing business which will in turn increase FDI, the general competitiveness of our economy and may reduce the cost of living.
“While implementation is mainly the responsibility of the governments, businesses are expected to play an important role in the consultative process to advise authorities as to how the agreement is best applied at national level,” said a spokesman from the Department of Finance.
Replying on how best to apply it in the national environment so businesses and the country can benefit, the spokesman saidthe most reasonable approach would be first and foremost for the responsible government ministries, agencies and the private sector to have a sound understanding of the provisions contained in the agreement. The agreement is written in general terms which provides government with some flexibility in implementation. Furthermore, a number of provisions of the agreement are not mandatory and therefore only requires that government uses its best efforts to implement the measures in their domestic legislation and practice.
“It is therefore important for businesses to understand these implementation options through consultation, opportunity to comment within or outside the scope of national trade facilitation committee, to ensure that their preferences are heard and taken into account,” he said.
It is to be noted that the National Trade Facilitation Committee was established in September 2015 and has been meeting regularly since then. The committee has a chairperson whose role is to alternate between the principal secretary of finance and a representative of the private sector. The committee is composed of 27 members from the public and private sector.
Regarding small and medium enterprises (SMEs), under the TFA there are no specific provisions for them. However, it is up to the government to take into account the specificities of SMEs and develop appropriate policies to increase their participation in cross border trade.
In a bid to clarify to the SMEs the benefits if they manage to integrate and to have a good understanding of how the agreement will benefit them, the Department of Finance said the majority of businesses in Seychelles could be classified as SMEs and therefore participation in this workshop has provided them with a good understanding of the agreement.
As for cross border inefficiencies, they could be categorised as procedural such as cumbersome documentary requirements and inspections at the border or as non-predictability and transparency of the system. In order to tackle cross border inefficiencies, the workshop was presented with the following suggested measures for suggested implementation at the border or behind the border: transparent, accessible and predictable rules and procedures; standardised forms, assembled into a ‘single bunch of documents’; a single access point to all border regulatory agencies and public services; simple, efficient and uniform formalities and procedures; a system based upon justice and reward for compliance; more efficient inspection.
Suggested measures that could be taken behind the border are: adequate infrastructure to support trade and transport goods; service providers who can connect buyer and seller efficiently; means to allow goods to proceed promptly to their final destination; review of fees and formalities; what measures strategies for Seychelles?
As soon as the TFA comes into force Seychelles will implement it, according to its capacity.
What next?
Government will continue maintaining its effort to ensure that there is collaboration between public and private sectors so that the requirements of the TFA is fully understood and applied. In addition, the government will continue to engage its cooperating partners for technical assistance and capacity building where deemed necessary to ensure that the agreement remains relevant.

http://www.nation.sc/article.html?id=250709

Sirop14

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New centre to strengthen culture of entrepreneurship in Seychelles

Post  Sirop14 on Mon Aug 22, 2016 10:07 pm

New centre to strengthen culture of entrepreneurship in Seychelles

22-August-2016

The University of Seychelles (UniSey) Guy Morel Institute at Ma Joie, in partnership with the Ministry of Investment, Entrepreneurship Development and Business Innovation (MIEDBI), has recently launched the UniSey Enterprise Centre at the institute through the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between them.
The main aim of the centre is to strengthen the culture of entrepreneurship in the country and to create a new generation of entrepreneurs with the capability to really make things happen. It will be at the heart of a new generation of creative entrepreneurs who will be equipped to operate in domestic, regional and global markets. It will draw together a multi-disciplinary team to provide education and training opportunities; undertake research and consultancy; engage in live projects; assist start-ups in taking their ideas to market and to raise awareness of entrepreneurship across the nation.
The setting up of the enterprise is in line with UniSey’s Strategic Plan 2014-2016.
Its director is Marie Celine Zialor, who provided more details on the centre.
“When we did strategic planning, it was decided the UniSey had to stay relevant both nationally and internationally – hence the enterprise centre. And this had to be done with very strong partnership with the MIEDBI,” Ms Zialor said, who added that “this is the beginning of great things to happen”.
“The main aim is strengthening this whole venture of entrepreneurship. We have talked more than actually act. A lot is being said about people not being very entrepreneurial here. But that comes with education, partners, investment – it needs to be nurtured and put together, to create this generation of entrepreneurs we all dream of,” Ms Zialor said.
“And the most important thing is ‘making things happen’. This is going to be the motto of this centre,” she added.
Talking on the vision of the enterprise, Ms Zialor said it is to be the national leader in entrepreneurship development. And as for the principles which she also described as very important, is we have to reflect on essential values of Seychelles and support the principle of sustainable development.
“What this means is that we have got to develop this culture of entrepreneurship, businesses, but we should not lose ourselves, our values in the process. Because there are countries where this has happened. We do not want a situation where after five, six years, after we have full entrepreneurship skills we don’t recognise Seychelles or we don’t recognise Seychellois,” Ms Zialor explained.

She urged to keep Seychelles unique! This is our trade mark. That people come here because we are different. And another important aspect is we have got to work closely with other businesses, government departments to achieve progress.
“Partnership plays an important role here so as to create synergy and linkages. One of the world Bank’s report on Seychelles analysis says we have a lot of entities, we have a lot of policies, we have really good plans but we don’t have synergy,” she said.
She added this centre will be like a hub where all these entities would come and so we all know what everybody else is doing and that nobody will be duplicating activities,” she said.
With regard to ‘how to make things happen’, Ms Zialor said she plans on having tangible activities for the centre so it will be able to operate nationally, regionally and internationally.
“But we have to dream. That’s how it starts with entrepreneurship – with a dream. We dream nationally and then regionally. We have done some research on some of the issues we face on entrepreneurship and found out in Seychelles they are similar - similar to Africa, similar to the rest of the world.
“So why can’t we be a leader in the region for that? Even dream further, global. Who would not want to come to Seychelles. We need to start being innovative and find how can that be to our advantage. And people will surely come to Seychelles to be entrepreneurial because this is a global issue,” she said.
So together with our partners, UniSey will provide education training opportunities. They will start off by training 500 people between September this year and next February.

http://www.nation.sc/article.html?id=250708

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Entrepreneurs and aspiring ones acquire skills in MSME course

Post  Sirop14 on Fri Aug 26, 2016 5:51 am

Entrepreneurs and aspiring ones acquire skills in MSME course

25-August-2016

A first batch from a group of 500 entrepreneurs from the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are acquiring knowledge and skills on various aspects of entrepreneurship initiatives.
They are doing so in a three-day course which was officially opened yesterday at the University of Seychelles Guy Morel Institute at Ma Joie.
The training session, which is part of the Seychelles’ MSME Development Project, is being supported by the African Development Bank (AfDB) through the fund for African Private Sector Assistance (FAPA) which has also funded a consultant/facilitator for the training, Audrey Kawuki.
It is being conducted by the Small Enterprise Promotion Agency (Senpa) in collaboration with the University of Seychelles (UniSey) and the Ministry of Investment, Entrepreneurship Development and Business Innovation (MIEDBI). The Seychelles MSME Development Project aims at enhancing the growth of Seychelles MSMEs in order to promote inclusive growth through addressing access to finance and entrepreneurial skills, two main constraints to MSME development in Seychelles.
There are seventeen short courses and a training of trainer session where Ms Kawuki will train the trainers to make sure they are capable to take on the task afterwards.

http://www.nation.sc/article.html?id=250760

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