VIENTIANE, 27 October 2014 – A two-day National Workshop on ASEAN Trade Repository (ATR)/National Trade Repository (NTR)/Non-Tariff Measures (NTMs) and Notification Procedures under the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA) was held on 20-21 October 2014 in Vientiane, Lao PDR. The workshop aimed at providing technical knowledge to assist ASEAN Member States in their NTR development and to provide a better understanding on the substantive structure and outlay.More than 40 representatives from all relevant Lao PDR ministries and agencies attended.

The Deputy Director General, Department of Import and Export of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce of Lao PDR, Ms. Vongxay Manivone opened the two-day event. Lao PDR is well advanced in its efforts to meet the transparency requirements under the ATIGA for establishimg the Lao Trade Portal (LTP), which was developed with technical assistance and support by the World Bank.  The Government of Lao PDR is now structuring and populating its NTR, in line with the architecture of the ATR, by using the same comprehensive database that contains the trade information of the LTP.

The workshop was supported by ASEAN Regional Integration Support from the EU (ARISE) technical assistance and co-organised by the Department of Import and Export of Lao PDR. Since NTMs are stipulated as one of the nine elements for NTR/ATR transparency under Article 13 of the ATIGA, ARISE is planning to further support ASEAN Member States on the ASEAN NTM identification and classification process in order to comply with the mandate given by the ASEAN Free Trade Area Council Ministers.