Deputy Director-General Xiaozhun Yi, who opened the course, said: “The services component is one of the key pillars of the accessions negotiations. Many delegations from governments engaged in accessions have indicated that there is less familiarity with the subject matter of services than with other areas of the accession process. The course will allow for interaction between participants, but also with negotiating partners and recently acceded members.”

The course will provide participants with an opportunity to learn about key services-related aspects of the WTO accession process, to enhance their understanding of the negotiating objectives of WTO members involved in the accession negotiations, and to exchange views with services negotiators from countries that have recently completed accession to the WTO, including Kazakhstan's WTO Ambassador Zhanar Aitzhanova. Participants will also receive in-depth training on issues such as how to schedule their WTO commitments in services — including how to classify services sectors — as well as on implementation of these commitments.

Linda Kassem Moukashar, Senior Legal Trade Specialist at Lebanon's Ministry of Economy and Trade, who is attending the course, said: “This course is one of a kind. Rather than solely focusing on the implementation of WTO agreements, it is providing us with some very useful tools to conduct our WTO accession negotiations. It touches upon key areas of interest to us and allows us to be forward looking in our WTO accession negotiations.”

Volha Kazakevich, Counsellor at the WTO Unit at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus, who is also taking part in the course, said: “This course will help me improve my awareness of the services aspects of WTO accession negotiations. As Belarus has started to intensify its accession process, this training course will help us respond to questions posed by WTO members throughout this process. I hope the WTO Secretariat will organize more courses of this type.”

Another course participant, Saman Yousefvand, WTO Desk Officer at Iran's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said: “This course is extremely helpful in improving my understanding of how accession negotiations are conducted, particularly as we are hearing from experts who were involved in the accession negotiations of their country. This course is very timely as my government is preparing to submit to the WTO updates on our foreign trade regime as part of the resumption of our WTO accession negotiations.”

The course, organized jointly by the WTO Accessions Division, the Trade in Services and Investment Division and the Institute for Training and Technical Cooperation, is offered as part of the WTO's technical assistance and capacity building courses. It is implemented within the WTO's Progressive Learning Strategy and represents “level 2”.

The programme is here.


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List of the participants 

Mr. Abdelkrim REZAL Algeria
Mr. Sofiane DJENIDI Algeria
Mr. Allahverdi PASHAYEV Azerbaijan
Ms Keva Lorraine BAIN Bahamas
Mrs Volha KAZAKEVICH Belarus
Ms Darya KUDELEVICH Belarus
Mr. Chhime TSHERING Bhutan
Miss Pem ZAM Bhutan
Mrs Sanja SUKA Bosnia and Herzegovina
Mr. Abbas Mohamed HACHIM Comoros
Mr. Afraitane ABDOU RAOUF Comoros
Mr. Geremew Ayalew HAILE Ethiopia
Mr. Yidnekachew Tekle ALEMU Ethiopia
Mr. Amir Hossein KHALAJ Iran, Islamic Republic of
Mrs Dena KOUCHERI Iran, Islamic Republic of
Mr. Majid RANJBARDAR Iran, Islamic Republic of
Mr. Saman YOUSEFVAND Iran, Islamic Republic of
Mr. Alireza JEYRANI HOKMABAD Iran, Islamic Republic of
Mr. Tharwat Akram Salman SALMAN Iraq
Ms Linda KASSEM Lebanon
Mrs Manal SWAID Lebanon
Miss Rayane DANDACHE Lebanon
Mrs Olivera JOCIC Serbia
Mr. Ali Ahmed ABDELRAHIM ALI Sudan
Mr. Mohamed Adam Ibrahim ABUELBASHER Sudan
Mrs Hiba Elfadil MOHAMED AHMED Sudan
Mr. Joao Jose Augusto GOMES Timor-Leste

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