The International Trade Center (ITC) launched the first Trade Information and Border Assistance Desk in Guéckédou, Guinea, near the borders with Sierra Leone and Liberia, in May 2022 under the Multi-Partner Trust Fund for Migration (MPTF) of the United Nations. nations.
The Office responds to the concerns of the border community regarding border formalities, providing the support that is sorely needed given the language barriers and the lack of knowledge and skills needed to prepare the documents that need to be presented to border officials. ITC-trained agents will help small traders manage cross-border trade transactions in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, with a focus on women and youth. They will also make it easier for them to comply with applicable rules and regulations.
Over 200 guests, including representatives of the local community and neighboring nations, government and local authorities, representatives of humanitarian organizations, members of the business community and traders, attended the opening ceremony.
During the ceremony, Colonel Moussa Condé, Prefect of the city, said: “I sincerely thank the International Trade Center for its unwavering support to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and for its contribution to the economic development of Guinea. We commend ITC’s leadership in strengthening cross-border social cohesion and recognize the crucial role this office will play in formalizing trade flows around the Makona River and in empowering small-scale traders and especially women traders.
Marliatou Diallo, MPTF national consultant, explained: “The Trade Information and Border Assistance Office is part of a set of activities that aims to maintain cross-border social cohesion, through the promotion of local products; improving access to local and regional markets; contribute to the diversification of the livelihoods of border communities; and build the capacity of cross-border trade monitoring agencies.
Timothée Bruneteau, Associate Trade Facilitation Program Officer at ITC added: “This new service will provide traders engaged in the informal economy with the necessary impetus to gradually formalize their activities, improve their trade security and thus contribute to the construction of a more conducive business environment through trade facilitation. and voluntary respect for the rule of law.