WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement: Opportunities and Challenges for LDCs and Developing Countries
Date and Time: Thursday 5th December 2013 ~~~ 12:45 – 13:45 Location: Orchid Room Theme: Trade and Economic Development
With the technical assistance from ARTNeT and IDEAS Centre
I. To explore the potential opportunities that LDCs and developing countries may achieve from the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA);
II. To identify possible administrative and regulatory hurdles that LDCs and developing countries may face in order to implement the WTO TFA;
III. To identify the financial and technical assistance needed to implement the WTO TFA;
IV. To assess the infrastructure requirement in order to support the trade facilitation reform agenda;
V. To understand the role of regional cooperation and South - South Cooperation in trade facilitation; and
VI. To understand the post-Bali global trade scenario and implications for LDCs and developing countries.
The world is all set to witness a new trade deal under the aegis of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The major trading partners of the world envisage conclusion of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) during WTO MC9. However, the major concerns of LDCs and many developing countries are that they did not possess sufficient financial and technical capacity to implement commitments to be undertaken. Trade facilitation is the only ‘Singapore Issues’ that have been retained under Doha Development Agenda (DDA). To date, members of WTO are negotiating a draft prepared on the basis of a number of proposals made by the WTO members. Although there is no doubt that trade facilitation will promote trade and business and it is necessary for all members, it may not be possible for many LDCs and developing countries to undertake time bound commitment given their scarce resources, capacity constraints and diverse priorities. Standing at this challenging juncture of the world trade, BFTI-RIS-ADB have jointly organized this session to discuss the opportunities and challenges in WTO TFA. This session will address what are the opportunities and challenges for LDCs and developing countries in Asia-Pacific region in general and Southern Asia in particular. Besides, this session will also discuss administrative, regulatory, financial constraints that LDCs and developing countries may face to implement the TFA. The session will give us a direction on the requirement of financial and technical assistance needed to implement the WTO TFA. The session will also present the global trade scenario that may emerge from WTO MC9 and implications for LDCs and developing countries.