The Economic Partnership Agreement Related Trade and Private Sector Support (EPA TAPSS) Program is a four year, European Union (EU) - funded program under the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives (MTIC). The Financing Agreement for EPA TAPSS was signed by the Government of Uganda and the European Union on 14th July 2009. The EPA TAPSS Programme succeeds other EU funded programs in the Trade sector, notably the Uganda Programme for Trade Opportunities and Policy (UPTOP) 2003-2007 and the Technical Support for Economic Partnership Agreement Finalisation (TSEPAF) 2008-2009.
The Programme builds on achievements made in the sector over the past few years, especially the formulation of The National Trade Policy and the securing of duty free and quota free market access for all products to the other four Partner States of the East African Community (EAC) and the twenty seven (27) Member States of the European Union through the EAC Customs Union and the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) respectively. The design of the EPA TAPSS program was spearheaded by the Ministry and the process was informed by an identification study that was conducted in 2007/2008.
2.0 Program Objectives
The Program aims at enhancing the capacity of MTIC to fulfil its mandate in respect to development of trade, and enabling the country to develop sufficient capacity to exploit the trade opportunities available under the EPA and the different regional trade agreements. Within that general objective, two specific objectives have been identified as:
- To bolster the capacity of MTIC to spearhead the development of the country’s trade sector, and the creation of an enabling business environment for private sector development;
- To increase the ability of Uganda’s products to conform to international quality standards and to strengthen the enforcement of such standards
To ensure that the above objectives are met, the Program has five result areas. The result areas are;
- Institutional strengthening of MTIC and strengthening linkages between production and trade/domestic trade development
- Regulatory and institutional reforms to streamline the trading process
- Effective management of the trade negotiations process
- Trade Facilitation; producing trade-related information and making it accessible to users, and
- Improvement of quality standards and compliance with Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary requirements
3.0 Beneficiaries of the Program
- The Public Sector, notably the Department of External Trade and Department of Internal Trade in the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives(MTIC),
- Policy implementation agencies of the Ministry such as the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) and Uganda Export Promotion Board (UEPB),
- Other public sector agencies whose mandates hinge on/impact on the objectives of the Project,
- Partnering Local Government authorities,
- The Private Sector,
- The Civil Society,
- The Academia and
- The Media
The EPA TAPSS Programme,
5th Floor, Farmers House, Parliament Avenue,
P.O Box 29901
EPATAPPS Events Round – up;
Trade Fair in UMA
0000000391-Schedule on the Free Movement of Capital
0000000391-Schedule on Trade in Services
- District Officials training on integrating the National Trade Policy into the District Development Plans (25th- 26th August 2011);
The Ministry with support from EPA TAPSS trained 64 District Officials from 14 Districts in Western and South Western Uganda on how to integrate the National Trade Policy into their District Development Plans. The training was held at Hotel Margherita in Kasese District and participating districts were Buhweju, Buliisa, Budibugyo, Kabarole, Kanungu, Kyegegwa, Kyenjojo, Masindi, Mitoma, Mtoroko, Rubirizi, Kibale, Kiryandongo and Sheema. This brings the total number of districts countrywide trained to 74 and the district officials to 345.
- The 5th National Trade Sector Review Conference (9th / September/2011)
The Ministry with support from EPA TAPSS Programme held the 5th National Trade Sector Review Conference at Speke Resort Hotel Munyonyo. This year’s Conference focused on the theme; Growing Exports for Robust Economic Development and Transformation.
The objectives of the Conference were;
Update stakeholders on the status of progress on implementation of the recommendations made at the 4th NTSRC
Identify and prioritize interventions to grow exports with focus on value added exports
Identify and prioritize modalities for using cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as vehicles for increased production, value addition and export performance
Make recommendations on future prospects and best approaches to harness the synergies between trade, industry and cooperatives to grow exports
- Private Sector Foundation Uganda International Trade Facilitation Expo 2011
The EPA TAPSS Programme supported PSFU to organise the expo as a platinum sponsor. It also took part in the expo and supported MTIC’s participation, shared a stall with the Ministry, UNBS and UEPB and attracted various visitors to the stall who received information on the kind of assistance the Programme and Ministry would offer them in terms of trade facilitation.
Training of the National Trade Negotiations Team (24th -26th October)
The EPA TAPSS Programme together with the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, has completed a three - day training for the National Trade Negotiations team (NTNT).
The training which was opened by Hon. Amelia Kyambadde at Brisk Hotel, Jinja was important for equipping members of Uganda’s NTNT with adequate skills to handle trade negotiations in the various bilateral and multilateral negotiations the country is part of.
Uganda is involved in trade negotiations on a number of fronts. The main ones include deepening integration in the East African Community (EAC), European Union – EAC (EU-EAC) Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) negotiations, and broader integration under Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA), multilateral negotiations under the World Trade Organisation (WTO) as well as bilateral negotiations on a continuous basis as new potential trade partners are identified. These negotiations are handled by the NTNT which was established in 2008.
The training covered planning and preparations for negotiations; the information and data requirements in trade negotiations; the conduct of negotiations; techniques and approaches and implementation of agreed outcomes.
Members of the NTNT are drawn from various Government Ministries and agencies, Academia and members of the Civil Society.
EPATAPPS Upcoming Events