Mozambique – Burma Cooperation for a National Trade Portal
The Governments of Mozambique and Burma formally signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on May 21, 2019 in Naypyi Taw to formalize the transfer of the source code for the development of Mozambique’s National Trade Portal.
Burma’s National Trade Portal was developed through the support of USAID/Burma Private Sector Development Activity (PSDA). By facilitating the transfer and collaboration between the two countries and USAID Missions, USAID SPEED+ was able to ensure considerable cost savings in developing and launching Mozambique’s trade Portal, which is estimated to save the government of Mozambique over $100,000 (based on the investment made by USAID/Burma).
A National Trade Portal is a critically important tool for improving the transparency of cross-border procedures and practices and is required by multiple World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) Provisions. Mozambique’s Trade Portal will contain all the procedures, rules, forms and related requirements for importing and exporting good to and from Mozambique.
Paul Pleva of USAID/Burma, who had previously served at USAID/South Africa and helped with the initial design of SPEED+, congratulated the two governments for the cooperation, and confirmed the USAID/Burma Mission Director, Teresa McGhie, who served at USAID/Mozambique, was happy with the cooperation between the two governments. The Minister of Commerce, Dr. Than Myint, enthusiastically received the delegation, and recounted the numerous times he visited Mozambique to eat prawns and enjoy the warm culture when he lived in Malawi working for the UN.
Led by the National Director of the Mozambique Ministry of Industry and Trade, Amilcar Arone, the delegation from Mozambique included: Joaquim Macuacua, National Director of Norms and Procedures at Mozambique Customs; Kekobad Patel, Director CTA Customs/Fiscal Working Group and representative of Mozambique’s National Single Window; and Ashok Menon, USAID/SPEED+ Deputy Chief of Party. The Delegation also met with the Director General (DG) of Customs U Moe Kyaw Aye to discuss, among other things, how Burma handles customs clearance without Pre-Shipment Inspection (PSI). The DG instilled confidence and encouraged Mozambique that PSI was not necessary.
The Delegation also took the opportunity to meet with the Director General of the Burma Immigration Service U Ye Tun Oo to discuss their Electronic Visa (E-Visa) process. Burma Immigration officials convinced the Mozambique of the critical need, importance and trade facilitating benefits of an E-Visa process. They shared their experience of how the E-Visa system allowed the Burma Immigration Service better control of both movement of natural persons and revenues generated through E-Visas. Burma Immigration also confirmed that it helped their Government to rationalize the visa process handled through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and minimize issues around falsified visas. The representatives from MIC and Customs will raise the issue to the Mozambique National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC) as well as their respective Ministers and try to advance an E-Visa system for tourist and business visas in Mozambique. The meeting also paved the way for Mozambique being added to the approved list of countries that could apply for the E-Visa, pending an official request from the Government of Mozambique.
All involved in the Mission, from USAID/Burma, to the Minister of Commerce to the Mozambique Delegation, were impressed between the successful cooperation of two small and seemingly unconnected economies.