Thai exporters told to study e-trade system used by African nations
The Ministry of Commerce has suggested that Thai exporters study an online trade facilitation platform being used by 22 African countries to exchange shipping information in real time, to help boost transparency and curb corruption.
Phusit Ratanakul Sereroengrit, director-general of the ministry’s Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP), said on Thursday that by better understanding the system, Thai exporters could boost their competitiveness in the African market.
He said the Thai commerce attaché in Kenya recently reported about the African country’s adoption of a trade facilitation platform called “Ken Trade e-Single Window” for the exchange of single-entry shipping documents with 21 other African nations, including Morocco, Tunisia, Cameroon and Senegal.
The e-trade system exchanges real-time information among the member countries regarding international trade, such as import taxes, shipping service fees, certificates of origin for cargos. Such information is made available by the relevant state agencies, shipping companies, and exporters and importers.
Phusit said that with such information, those involved realise the costs and time spent on shipping products from one country to another. Also, time can be saved as there is no need to submit documents.
“Ken Trade reflects an attempt by African countries, particularly Kenya, to use technology in international trade. This helps to ensure transparency about shipping costs and allows real-time tracking of cargos. As a result, the corruption issue can be tackled,” Phusit said.
The official suggested that Thai exporters could cut the cost and time of shipping their products to Africa if they participate in the system.
He added that the Thai commerce attaché to Kenya has been instructed to gather information regarding the pros and cons of the system for Thai exporters keen on the African market.