Posted on August 27, 2015

The Arab Administrative Development Organization (ARADO) affiliated with the League of Arab States and the Gulf Organization for Industrial Consulting (GOIC) are organising a series of workshops on developing skills to deal with WTO agreements and regulations. The first workshop "Liberalisation of global trade and commodities and access to markets" will take place in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt from the 24th till the 29th of October 2015.

This workshop targets concerned parties from different Arab countries such as chambers of commerce and industry, ministries of commerce and industry, investors’ associations and unions, commercial representative offices, WTO units in Arab countries, academics and researchers in the area of global trade, journalists who specialise in commerce and economy and concerned businessmen involved in international trade (import and/or export). 

The workshop will provide a historical background on the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the global trading system after World War II. It will introduce the World Trade Organization (WTO), its objectives, the problems countries face while trying to join it and the current status of Arab states joining the Organization. Furthermore, the workshop will explain the methodology behind the schedules of concessions on goods and how to implement agreements and rules combatting illegal practices that trouble domestic production like the anti-dumping, subsidies and safeguards agreements.

In addition to that, agreements organising the movement of imports, notably customs valuation, pre-shipment inspection and rule of origin will be explained. The training will also tackle the trade facilitation agreement in light of the 9th ministerial conference in Bali and Arab countries’ vision to implement the agreement. It will shed light on the facilitations offered to new members and discuss the future of global trade in commodities in light of the 10th ministerial conference that will be held in Nairobi in December 2015. 

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The workshop is delivered by Dr. Mohsen Hilal, trade and WTO affairs consultant, Dr. Adel Abdul Aziz Al-Senn, international economics professor and advisor at ARADO and Dr. Maulai Hassan Abu Taher, expert in international trade and agreements from Morocco. In addition, WTO experts from the Organization’s units within Arab ministries will take part in this workshop. This will be the first of four workshops on developing skills to better deal with WTO agreements and rules. They all aim at promoting the skills of professionals interacting with WTO agreements and rules. 

The workshops will help them to understand the provisions of these agreements correctly, including the obligations and rights of Arab countries, and to maximise the benefit of Arab businessmen from these agreements. The workshops also seek to improve the capacity to counter illegal competition that harms domestic products and to study how to benefit from the facilitations that were sanctioned for new WTO members like KSA, Jordan, Oman and Yemen. Moreover, the workshops will train participants on how to prepare a negotiation position and strategies and tactics of negotiation for the representatives of Arab governments at the negotiations with the World Trade Organization.

The second workshop will be entitled "General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS)", followed by "The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)" and then "Dispute Settlement and Trade Policy Review Mechanism (TPRM)".