By Hizkel Hailu
The Ethiopian Herald
ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopian Electronics Single Window Service Program Office announced that applying eSW service has enabled the country to save Birr 18 million and more than 400 thousand working hours during the past six months.
In an exclusive interview with The Ethiopian Herald Robel Tesfaye, Program Director of Ethiopian Electronics Single Window Program Office said that most traders and each bank and insurance companies have started offering eSW service since last January. Accordingly, it was able to reduce corruption coupled with cutting costs and working hours.
He further stated more than two thousand traders and five hundred regulatory institutions have started giving this e-service adding that these clients are forwarding positive feedback about the service.
Robel also stated that the system is essential for reducing burdensome documentary requirements and automating trade procedures. The Single Window is a practical application of trade facilitation concepts intended to reduce non-tariff trade barriers and deliver immediate benefits to all members of the trading community.
He further noted that the eSW brings Ethiopia closer to international trade standards, such as the World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement (WTO, TFA). It also helps the country to increase its global trade competitiveness.
Documents from The World Bank also revealed that improving trade with initiatives, like the eSW, can help Ethiopia integrate better into global value chains (GVCs) as a result of simplified exporting and importing.
Trade facilitation can also enhance the competitiveness of Ethiopian products by streamlining customs clearance and logistics procedures for importers, exporters and manufacturers, which in turn reduces trading costs and time of inputs for producers and final products for consumers, the document remarked.
According to the World Bank group, different Import exporters in Ethiopia are also being benefited by this system. “We have processed over 20 exports of sesame seeds using the new eSW system,” said Asmamaw Melaku, documentation officer at Abat Import and Export Plc.
We used the system to submit applications and get permits from the Ministry of Trade. The system is friendly, easy to use and reduced the time required to process the export permit from the regulatory agency,” he added.
Moreover Robel said that starting this month each business sectors particularly; importers, exporters, investors and manufacturers and regulatory bodies are obligated to start this service. Hence, about 150,000 clients are expected to access the system.
The Ethiopian herald july 18,202