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TRADE FACILITATION: FACT SHEET

WTO Trade Facilitation Technical Assistance Fact Sheet

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WTO Trade Facilitation Technical Assistance for National Self Assessments of Needs and Priorities:

What:

  • Technical assistance to help WTO Members and Observers to conduct a self assessment of needs and priorities in the WTO trade facilitation negotiations.

  • Goal: to help understanding of the implication of implementation of proposed trade facilitation measures; to assist with more effective negotiation on the proposed measures, special and differential treatment and technical assistance; and to assist with preparation of implementation.

  • Provided on request upon receipt of an official letter of request and a notification of coordinators and stakeholders.

  • Funded by WTO Members through a special trust fund.

  • Offered in addition to the normal WTO technical assistance program.

  • To be conducted over a 2 year period beginning in September 2007.

  • Conducted with the use of a specially developed Needs Assessment Guide that is based on Members' proposals. (TN/TF/W/143).

  • Needs Assessment duration: one week.

  • Delivery: these self-assessments are conducted in working groups that conclude with participant presentations of results to high-level officials on the final day. They are run by expert facilitators from the WTO Secretariat, Annex D organizations or donor Members.

  • Materials: the Guide and all necessary materials will be provided by the WTO Secretariat.

Why?

  • The WTO trade facilitation negotiation mandate encourages Members to assess their trade facilitation needs and priorities.

  • It has been expressed by many Members to be crucial for the negotiations

  • To provide a basis for the implementation of any results of the negotiations.

  • To fulfil Members' request for technical assistance for this assessment.

Who Benefits?

  • Beneficiaries are WTO Members and Observers that are developing, least-developed and low-income countries.

  • Participants include members of a trade facilitation task force/committee that is made up of all relevant government agencies and private sector organizations, the Geneva trade facilitation negotiator and 2-3 expert facilitators.


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