USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub, in collaboration with the Swaziland Standards Authority (SWASA), launched the World Trade Organization (WTO) Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) National Enquiry Point (NEP) in Matsapha, Swaziland, on June 23, 2015.
An NEP is a requirement of the WTO’s Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement, of which Swaziland is a signatory. It is also crucial to reducing the time and cost of trade, since it offers a single contact point to which requests for information regarding technical regulations, standards and conformity assessment procedures can be made.
In her address at the event, SWASA Executive Director Dr. Lomkhosi Mkontha expressed SWASA’s appreciation for the support received from the Trade Hub in improving the NEP and information center. Trade Hub technical assistance to Swaziland has focused on improving the effectiveness of the NEP, strengthening the legal and regulatory framework for standards, and creating an effective process for legislating standards.
The launch was followed by awareness seminars in Mbabane, Siteki and Nhlangano aimed at making the business community in these regions aware of the existence of the enquiry point and how they can utilize the service.
Photo: Commercial Specialist at the US Embassy in Swaziland Dorothy Mlambo cuts the ribbon, officially opening the NEP