Egypt, Assistance for Trade Reform (2002-2006)

Through this four and half year project, Nathan Associates

  • Strengthened management processes, infrastructure, and skills at Egypt’s Ministry of Trade and Industry, including departments handling trade agreements and foreign trade sectors, export and import controls, as well as the Egyptian Commercial Service;
  • Supported trade liberalization initiatives covering inspections, imports, tariffs, and standards;
  • Supported Egypt’s participation in bilateral, regional, and multilateral trade negotiations and implementation of trade agreements; Improved Egypt’s integration into international markets and the government’s ability to facilitate trade, enforce intellectual property rights, and formulate competition policy; and
  • Facilitated trade through changes in inspection regulations and better enforcement of the regulations.
  • Centralizing WTO Work

We helped create a department devoted to WTO matters in the Ministry of Trade and Industry. We simplified management structures, trained staff in trade negotiations and in managerial mentoring, and supported Egypt’s successful 2005 WTO Trade Policy Review.

Advancing Trade Liberalization and WTO Compliance

We helped Egypt comply more with WTO agreements on technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, rules of origin, antidumping and trade related investment measures. We also assisted in the comprehensive revision of Egypt’s import and export regulations, and fully assessed four service sectors: computer, financial, legal and health services.

Reducing Import and Export Clearance Times

Egypt improved its clearance times for imports and exports with project assistance. Nathan designed baseline and follow-up import-clearance surveys; trained staff of the General Organization for Export and Import Control and established two training centers; and established the Trade Services Center, a one-stop shop for information on import and export regulations.

Implementing a Master’s Scholarship Program

The master’s scholarship program was a cornerstone of our capacity building. Through it we were able to ensure that our technical assistance was sustainable from a managerial as well as a technical perspective. One of our main goals for the program was to develop middle-management capabilities in various ministry departments, especially the new department devoted to WTO matters. Thanks to the program, senior ministry and department staff now meet regularly, track individual performance, provide junior staff with positive reinforcement, and develop visions for the future.

Improving Information Technology

Nathan procured computers, servers, and customized software for the Ministry of Trade and Industry; developed websites for certain departments; improved the Ministry’s website and email system; established a consignment monitoring system for laboratories of the General Organization for Export and Import Control; and established three offices to support the automation of applications for the temporary admissions of goods into Egypt.
 
Nathan continued its work on trade policy issues in Egypt under the TAPR II project.

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