The government officials were from Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.

In his closing address to the participants, WTO Deputy Director-General Frederick Yonov Agah said: "I encourage all of you to engage actively and ensure that your countries positively contribute to a successful outcome to the ongoing talks aimed at strengthening the global trading system and making it more responsive to the needs of its members. I hope that the knowledge that you have acquired during this course will not only enable you to improve the effectiveness of your work in your respective administrations, but also contribute to the active participation in your governments in the work of the WTO. I hope that this course has provided a unique personal and professional experience that will be long remembered by each one of you." DDG Agah's video can be viewed here.

One of the participants, Violette Abi Abboud, Market Surveillance and Trade Officer at Lebanon's Ministry of Economy and Trade, said: "This course has allowed me to enhance my knowledge in different areas, especially tariffs and the different set of rules and regulations governing international trade. I have already started applying what I have learned so far in my daily work. On a personal level, I found it a thrilling experience to have met new colleagues with whom I can share knowledge and make the best out of the course in the long run."

The participants' testimonials can be viewed here.

Organized by the WTO's Institute for Training and Technical Cooperation, the course was specifically designed for government officials from WTO members and observers working on trade-related issues who have already undertaken basic WTO training. It aimed to ensure that trade-related technical assistance continues to be made available despite the COVID-19 pandemic and replicated most of the training components offered by face-to-face regional trade policy courses.

Its duration was extended from 8 to 14 weeks to allow participants to continue working during the training. The course also introduced a learning methodology based on self‑study and practical exercises, case studies and thrice‑weekly webinars by WTO experts covering the various multilateral trade agreements. Experts from the region offered a unique perspective on the various trade disciplines covered in the WTO multilateral trade agreements.

The programme included an online discussion involving key trade negotiators, decision makers and private sector representatives from the region who shared perspectives on current trends and developments in digital trade and the impact of the pandemic on the region's economic development. The video of the discussion can be found here.




Problems viewing this page? If so, please contact [email protected] giving details of the operating system and web browser you are using.