Accessions week 2020
The WTO Accessions Division is organizing a series of lectures, dialogues and roundtables on issues of interest to all relevant stakeholders involved in WTO accessions. These sessions are aimed at promoting a better understanding of the WTO accession process through the exchange of information and experiences.
MONDAY, 29 JUNE 2020
SESSION 1 - 10:30 – 12:00
THE PRESENT AND FUTURE VALUE OF WTO MEMBERSHIP
High-Level Opening Session in collaboration with ERSD
This high-level opening session builds on the 25 Years of the WTO by addressing the past, present and future economic value of the multilateral trading system, in particular of WTO membership. Although economic theory clearly makes the case for the WTO's trade rules and institutional framework, the empirical evidence of the value and impact of the WTO is either limited or mixed. This is in large part due to the difficulty in assessing accurately the contributions of the WTO.
- Robert Koopman, Chief Economist and Director, Economic Research and Statistics Division (ERSD), WTO
- Alan Wm Wolff, Deputy Director-General, WTO
- Zhanar Aitzhanova, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Kazakhstan
- Luisa Santos, Deputy Director-General, BusinessEurope
- Monika Mrazova, Professor, Geneva School of Economics and Management, University of Geneva
SESSION 2 - 14:30 – 16:00
OVERVIEW OF ACCESSIONS
Complex, multifaceted and demanding, the WTO accession process is unlike accession to any other international organization. This session discusses: (i) the basic underlying procedures; (ii) what is generally expected of acceding governments; (iii) the track record to date; and (iii) the state of play in the 23 ongoing accessions.
- Maika Oshikawa, Director, Accessions Division, WTO
- Dimitar Bratanov, Counsellor, Accessions Division, WTO
TUESDAY, 30 JUNE 2020
SESSION 3 – 10:00 – 11:30
BILATERAL MARKET ACCESS NEGOTIATIONS (GOODS)
Acceding to the WTO entails making long-term “contractual” commitments on the way trading relationships will be governed with WTO Members. It covers the trade in all goods items and it is the most visible part of any trade agreement. These commitments are the results of successful market access negotiations with WTO Members based on a list of 5,000 to 10,000 product items. This session's objective is to enhance participants' understanding of both the procedural and technical aspects of the negotiation process.
- Eric Ng Shing, Senior Statistician, Economic Research and Statistics Division (ERSD), WTO
- Jürgen Richtering, former Chief Market Access Intelligence Section, Economic Research and Statistics Division (ERSD), WTO
SESSION 4 – 14:30 – 16:00
ROUND TABLE WITH ACCESSION CHIEF NEGOTIATORS
WTO accession is a complex negotiating process that lasts, on average, for over 10 years. The experience from completed accession processes has revealed some key elements that can facilitate and lead it to successful conclusion. These include: high-level political commitment, efficient internal stakeholder coordination, formulation of a coherent negotiating strategy, active engagement with Members and so on. With participation of past and present Accession Chief Negotiators, this session will (i) provide an overview of accession experiences and lessons learned, including on the negotiating side, and (ii) focus, more closely, on the completed and ongoing accessions of Afghanistan, Bulgaria and Curaçao.
- Atanas Paparizov, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Bulgaria
- Mozammil Shinwari, former Deputy Minister of Commerce and Industries and Chief Negotiator for WTO Accession of Afghanistan
- Caryl Monte, President of the Permanent Commission for International Trade and Foreign Economic Relations, Chief Negotiator for WTO Accession of Curaçao
- Cecilia Klein, Independent Consultant; former Senior Director for WTO Accessions, USTR
WEDNESDAY, 1 JULY 2020
SESSION 5 - 10:00 - 11:30
ACCESSIONS IN FOCUS: EURASIA
After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, many Eurasian countries pursued transition from centrally planned to market oriented economies through WTO accession. This session provides an overview of (i) Eurasian accessions to the WTO; (ii) the challenges and opportunities faced by the current Eurasian acceding governments; and (iii) the benefits of WTO membership for Eurasian recently acceded WTO Members.
- Zharkin Kakimzhanova, Independent Consultant, former Head of the Section on WTO Issues at the Permanent Mission of Kazakhstan
- Badriddin Abidov, Deputy Minister of Investments and Foreign Trade, Chief Negotiator for WTO accession of Uzbekistan
- Vepa Hajiyev, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Turkmenistan
- Ekaterina Mayorova, Director, Department for Trade Negotiations, Ministry of Economic Development, Russian Federation
- Aziz Ibrohim, Head of WTO Affairs Department, Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, Tajikistan
SESSION 6 – 15:00 - 16:00
ROUNDTABLE WITH WORKING PARTY CHAIRPERSONS
This roundtable dialogue aims at exploring the role of Chairperson as a facilitator managing the complexities of the WTO accession process. Apart from the formal function to preside over Working Party meetings, Chairperson seeks to identify the balance of interests amongst various stakeholders in the accession process and leads the Working Party to develop a common view and vision. As such, Chairperson's purposeful stewardship and responsibility tremendously contributes to strengthening the multilateral trading system. This session will proceed as a roundtable dialogue between speakers based on the questions that moderator will pose to the speakers.
- Juneyoung Lee, Legal Affairs Officer, Accessions Division, WTO
- Andrew Staines, Ambassador, Deputy Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom, Chairperson of the Working Party on the Accession of The Bahamas
- Joakim Reiter, Group External Affairs, Director (Executive Vice President - Chief External and Corporate Affairs Officer), Vodafone Group, former Chairperson of the Working Party on the Accession of Liberia
- Luis Enrique Chávez Basagoitia, former Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Peru, Chairperson of the Working Party on the Accession of the Union of the Comoros
THURSDAY, 2 JULY 2020
SESSION 7 - 10:00 – 11:30
ACCESSIONS IN FOCUS: ARAB REGION
Unfinished Business of Arab Accessions @25 Years of the WTO
The session will examine the experience of Arab accessions in the WTO. This year, Jordan and Oman celebrate the 20th anniversary and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the 15th anniversary of WTO membership. This session will discuss the current state of play of accessions in the Arab region and look ahead at how Arab accessions might be supported by regional institutions and WTO Members to address challenges within the region, including economic growth and political stability.
- Mena Hassan, Legal/Economic Affairs Officer, Accessions Division
- Saleh ALHUSSEINI, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
- Salim BADDOURA, Ambassador, Permanent Representative Permanent Mission of Lebanon
- Hilda Ali Al-HINAI, Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of the Sultanate of Oman
- Zaher AL QATARNEH, Assistant Secretary-General for Technical Affairs and Director of Foreign Trade Policies, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Supply, Jordan
SESSION 8 – 14:30 – 16:00
ROUNDTABLE WITH DEVELOPMENT PARTNERS
The Perspective of TA Implementers: What Can Development Partners Bring to Accessions?
The WTO accession is a complex and rigorous process. Acceding governments often find that their willingness to subscribe to the rules-based multilateral trading system is not matched by their institutional and human resource capacities. Development partners, especially TA implementers can play an important role in helping the acceding governments overcome their resource and capacity constraints. This session aims to engage a dialogue between development partners both from the perspective of TA implementers and beneficiaries.
- Famke Schaap, Independent Trade & Impact Adviser
- Jovan Jekic, Senior WTO/Trade Advisor, USAID’s Competitiveness, Trade and Jobs
- Josephine Hetherington, Interim Head of Programmes, Trade for Development, Department for International Development (DFID), United Kingdom
- Melaku Geboye Desta, Principal Regional Advisor in the Regional Integration and Trade Division, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)
FRIDAY, 3 JULY 2020
SESSION 9 - 10:00 - 11:30
ACCESSIONS IN FOCUS: LDCs
Essential Elements of LDC Accessions
WTO accession can be a complex and rigorous process, especially for least developed countries (LDCs). That said, nine LDCs have successfully concluded their accession negotiations since the establishment of the WTO in 1995, despite the challenges they may have encountered in the process. This session will gather past and present accession negotiators to discuss the various ways in which challenges related to LDCs accession can be overcome.
- Mariam Soumaré, Trade Policy Analyst, Accessions Division, WTO
- Fidelis Leite Magalhães, Acting Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs and former Chief Trade Negotiator, Timor-Leste
- Geremew Ayalew Haile, Minister Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Ethiopia
- Nagib Hamim, Economic Attaché, WTO Affairs, Permanent Mission of Yemen
- Mr Mozammil Shinwari, former Deputy Minister of Commerce and Industries and Chief Negotiator for WTO Accession of Afghanistan
SESSION 10 – 14:30 - 16:00
ROUNDTABLE WITH PRIVATE SECTOR
In collaboration with ITC
Public-Private dialogue in WTO Accessions
The roundtable will provide an opportunity to discuss the private's sector perspective towards participation in the WTO Accession process, including with respect to challenges and opportunities that this process brings. The representatives of the chamber of commerce, business associations and entrepreneurs will take part in the discussion to provide their views on the significance of the public-private dialogue during the WTO accession process and building stakeholder confidence in implementing membership commitments.
- Chidinma Onyebuchi, Accessions Division, WTO
- Sangay Dorji, Secretary General, Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Bhutan
- Igor Shmidt, Head of Government Relations, Public Affairs & Market Access
- Anthony Anis Haggar, Director of Haggar Group and Member of the Sudanese Businessmen Foundation, Sudan
- Daria Shabalina, Trade Policy Analyst, International Consultant, International Trade Centre (ITC)
- Rajesh Aggarwal, Chief, Trade Facilitation and Policy for Business, International Trade Centre (ITC)
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