UNITED NATIONS, Aug 7, CMC – The Trinidad-based Association of Caribbean States (ACS) is urging its members to adopt a United Nations programme that will help them streamline trade and increase transparency in business procedures.
The eRegulations programme, produced by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) provides step-by-step information on how to carry out government administrative procedures. It simplifies business procedures, such as registering companies, obtaining visas and licenses, and importing and exporting, according to the United Nations.
It said the ACS, a 29 member grouping of Caribbean, Latin and Central American countries whose primary purpose is to develop greater trade between the nations, enhance transportation, develop sustainable tourism, and facilitate greater and more effective responses to local natural disasters, called on member countries to implement the programme “given the positive results it has yielded for the six-member countries that have already adopted it”.
The UN said that the programme has helped reduce obstacles to trade by allowing entrepreneurs in El Salvador to register their businesses through an online system, which was implemented with the help of UNCTAD, while in Nicaragua, the number of steps companies had to go through to obtain sanitary and security certificates was cut from 39 to four.
“Often, the results surprise government officials. They find out that procedures are more lengthy and complicated than they thought, involve numerous government departments, have redundant or unlawful demands, and mean so much time and confusion that entrepreneurs grow discouraged and operate their businesses informally rather than following the rules,” UNCTAD said.
So far the eRegulations system has been introduced in 20 countries and four cities around the world, the UN added.