Siem Reap Fifth China Round Table

Theme: Best Practices on the Accession of Least-Developed Countries
Date: 20-23 March 2017
Location:Siem Reap, Cambodia

Programme

Day 1 — Monday, 20 March 2017

Opening Session

Room: Ballroom

Moderator: H.E. Mr. Pan Sorasak, Minister of Commerce, Cambodia

08:00 – 08:30

Registration

08:3 – 09:30

 

Opening Ceremony

  • Remarks by H.E. Mr. Wang Shouwen, Vice Minister of Commerce, China
  • Special Remarks by H.E. Mr. Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister, Kingdom of Cambodia

09:30 – 09:40

Signing Ceremony of the Extension of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the China LDCs and Accessions Programme (China Programme)

09:40 – 10:00

Group Photograph

Session 1 — Room: Romdol

Integration of Least Developed Countries into the Multilateral Trading System — Overview of LDC accessions

 

Moderator: Ms Li Yihong, Deputy Director-General of the Department of WTO Affairs, Ministry of Commerce, China

 

Since the establishment of the WTO, considerable progress has been made in integrating LDCs in the Multilateral Trading System. LDCs account for more than one fifth of the WTO membership. In total, 9 LDCs have acceded to the WTO pursuant to Article XII of the Marrakesh Agreement and 8 LDCs are in the process of WTO accession. While the current LDC accessions are in various stages of maturity, Comoros and Sudan have adopted an accession roadmap aimed at concluding their respective accession negotiations by the Eleventh Ministerial Conference (MC11). This session will: (i) discuss the role of LDCs in the Multilateral Trading System; (ii) provide an overview on LDC accessions; and, (iii) reflect on the 2016 accessions of Liberia and Afghanistan, specifically on the opportunities and challenges at different stages of their accession processes.

10:30 – 12:30

 

What has been the role of LDCs in the Multilateral Trading System?

  • H.E. Mr. Pan Sorasak, Minister of Commerce, Cambodia
    Statement

Overview of LDC accessions — Results and State of Play

  • Ms Maika Oshikawa, Officer-in-Charge, Accessions Division, WTO
    Presentation

Commentators:

  • Ms Cecilia Klein, Trade Policy Consultant

 

Followed by Open Discussion

 

Day 1 — Monday, 20 March 2017

(cont’d)

14:00 – 15:30

 

Accession of Afghanistan (2016) — Opportunities and Challenges

  • H.E. Mr. Humayoon Rasaw, Minister of Commerce of Industries, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
    Statement

Accession of Liberia (2016) — Opportunities and Challenges

  • H.E. Mr. Axel Addy, Minister of Commerce and Industry and Former Chief Negotiator for WTO Accession, Liberia
    Presentation

Commentator:

  • Mr. Kamalidini SOUEF, Director General, Department of Customs, Comoros

 

Followed by Open Discussion

Discussion — Davos-Style

Question: Is there an optimal pace for LDCs' WTO accession negotiations?

 

Moderator:  H.E. Mr. Axel Addy, Minister of Commerce and Industry and Former Chief Negotiator for WTO Accession, Liberia

 

Timing: (up to 5 minutes per panellist).

Note: No PowerPoint presentations or formal speeches.  

15:45 – 17:00

Acceding LDCs: Bhutan, Comoros, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan and Timor-Leste

 

Article XII LDC Members: Afghanistan, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Nepal, Samoa and Yemen

 

Followed by Open Discussion

19:00

Reception/dinner to be hosted by the Government of Cambodia

 

Day 2 — Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Session 2 — Room: Romdol

 

Structural reforms and accession negotiation strategies 

 

Moderator: Mr. David Shark, Deputy Director-General, WTO

 

Applying for WTO membership signals a country's readiness to undertake deep reforms. Although long and demanding, the accession negotiation process equips governments with the necessary tools to become effective players of the Multilateral Trading System from day one of membership. Additionally, this process serves as a mechanism to accelerate and intensify domestic structural reforms. As part of their accession negotiation strategies, many acceding governments integrate trade into their structural reform package for sustained economic growth. In this session, Mr. Alexei Kireyev, Senior Economist at the International Monetary Fund will review the importance of prioritizing structural reforms. Also, Article XII LDC Members will provide their perspectives on WTO accession negotiation strategies.

09:00 — 10:00

Prioritizing structural reforms for economic growth

  • Mr. Alexei Kireyev, Senior Economist and former representative to the WTO, IMF
    Presentation

Commentators:

  • Mr. Kamalidini SOUEF, Director General, Department of Customs, Comoros
  • Dr. Hassan Ahmed Taha, Chief Negotiator for WTO Accession, Sudan

 

Followed by Open Discussion

10:15 – 12:30

WTO accession negotiation strategies

The case of Samoa — 2012

  • Mrs Nella Pepe Levy, Assistant Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Samoa
    Statement

The case of Lao PDR — 2013

  • Dr. Laohoua Cheuching, Director General of Foreign Trade Policy Department, Lao PDR
    Statement

Commentators:

Acceding LDCs: Bhutan, Comoros, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan and Timor-Leste

 

Followed by Open Discussion

 

Day 2 — Tuesday, 21 March 2017

(cont’d)

Session 3— Room: Romdol

 

WTO Post-accession

 

Moderator: Mr. Ratnakar Adhikari, Executive Director, Executive Secretariat for the Enhanced Integrated Framework

 

The completion of an accession process does not mark an end but signals the beginning of sustained economic reforms to maximize the benefits of WTO membership and ensure global economic integration. This session will review the best practices on WTO post-accession based on the lessons learned and direct experiences of thirty-six accessions concluded to date since the establishment of the WTO in 1995. Also, representatives of Article XII LDC Members will share their experiences on WTO membership.

14:00 – 15:30

 

Post-accession best practices: maximising the benefits of WTO Membership

  • Ms Anna Varyanik, Legal Affairs Officer, Accessions Division, WTO
    Presentation

Post-accession: The case of Samoa

  • H.E. Mr. Lautafi Fio Selafi Purcell, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Labour, Samoa
    Statement

Post-accession: The case of Yemen

  • H.E. Mr. Mohammed Al-Maitami, Minister of Industry and Trade, Yemen

Commentators:

  • H.E. Mr. Humayoon Rasaw, Minister of Commerce of Industries, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
  • H.E. Mr. Axel Addy, Minister of Commerce and Industry and Former Chief Negotiator for WTO Accession, Liberia

Followed by Open Discussion

Discussion — Davos-Style

 

Question: What are the best practices on the accession of LDCs?

 

Moderator:  Ms Maika Oshikawa, Officer-in-Charge, Accessions Division, WTO

 

Timing: (up to 5 minutes per panellist).

Note: No PowerPoint presentations or formal speeches. 

 15:45 – 17:00

 

 

Article XII LDC Members

Acceding LDCs

Original WTO Members

Partner Organizations

 

Followed by Open Discussion

17:00

End of Day 2

 

Day 3 — Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Session 4 — Room: Romdol

 

Mobilizing Support for WTO accession

 

Moderator: Mr. Rajesh Aggarwal, Chief, Trade Facilitation and Policy for Business, International Trade Centre (ITC)

 

Technical assistance and capacity-building provides the foundation of knowledge for the accession process.  Knowledge of the rules-based multilateral trading system and the application of WTO principles and agreements to the national legal framework is a prerequisite for a successful conclusion of the accession process.   Various technical assistance programmes are available from the WTO, ITC, IMF, UNCTAD, World Bank and other international organizations, as well as individual Members.  The challenge, however, lies in the mobilization and coordination of the existing support.  This session will also explore strategies for intensifying outreach efforts with both domestic stakeholders and external partners so as to ensure a smoother and faster accession process.

09:00 – 10:30 

Role of Chairpersons

  • Ms Hilda Ali Al-Hinai (Oman), Former Working Party Chairperson on the Accession of Seychelles
    Statement
  • Mr. Ryosuke Kuwana (Japan), Working Party Chairperson on the Accession of Sudan
    Statement

Commentators:

  • Article XII LDC Members
  • Acceding LDCs

10:45 – 12:30

Maximizing cooperation and synergies in Technical Assistance and Capacity Building

  • Mr. Maarten Smeets, Institute for Training and Technical Cooperation, WTO
  • Mr. Ding Li, Third Secretary, Permanent Mission of the People's Republic of China to the WTO
    Presentation
  • Mr. Alexei Kireyev, International Monetary Fund

 

Commentators:

  • H.E. Ms Faduma MOHAMUD, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Somalia in Geneva
  • H.E. Mr. Estanislau Da Conceicao  Aleixo Maria Da Silva,  Minister of State,  Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs and Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Timor-Leste

 

Followed by Open Discussion

 

Day 3 — Wednesday, 22 March 2017

(cont’d)

Session 5 — Room: Romdol

 

Preparation for the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference — LDC Priorities

 

Moderator: H.E. Mr. Stephen Ndungu Karau, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Kenya in Geneva

 

The 11th WTO Ministerial Conference will be held on 11-14 December 2017 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  Cambodia will lead the WTO LDC Group at the Ministerial Conference to pursue areas of interest to the Group, including accessions.  This session will discuss the preparation of the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference, including issues which are being explored by WTO Members for the Conference.

14:00 – 15:30

 

 

Preparation for the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference

  • H.E. Mr. Hector Marcelo Cima, Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the WTO, Permanent mission of Argentina in Geneva

Priorities for the WTO LDC Group at the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference

  • H.E. Mr. Pich Rithi, Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the WTO, Permanent mission of the Kingdom of Cambodia in Geneva
    Speech

 LDC Accession priorities — Comoros and Sudan

  • Mr. Kamalidini SOUEF, Director General, Department of Customs, Comoros
  • Dr. Hassan Ahmed Taha, Chief Negotiator for WTO Accession, Sudan

 

 Followed by Open Discussion

Closing Session — Room: Romdol

 

A "new dawn" for LDC accessions: Discussion on Best Practices and Next-steps

 

Moderator:  Ms Maika Oshikawa, Officer-in-Charge, Accessions Division, WTO

15:45 – 16:30

Discussion and adoption of the Outcome Document — “Best Practices on the Accessions of least developed countries (LDCs)”

 

All participants

16:30 – 17:00

 

Closing Remarks

  • H.E. Mr. Pan Sorasak, Minister of Commerce, Cambodia
    Closing Remarks
  • Ms. Li Yihong, Deputy Director-General of the Department of WTO Affairs, China
    Closing Remarks

17:00

End of Day 3

 

Day 4 — Thursday, 23 march 2017

Local Activity Tour in Siem Reap

8:00 — 10:00

Visit of Angkor Wat temple and Angkor Touch

10:00 — 12:00

Visit of Bayon temple

12:00 — 15:00

Lunch at Sokha Hotel

15:00 — 16:30

Visit of Panorama museum, Angkor Kyung Yu

 

List of participants

 

Country/Organization

Name

Position

LDCs Acceding Government

1.

Bhutan

Mr. Tshewang DORJI T

Senior Trade Officer, Ministry of Economic Affairs

Mr. Sonam TOBGAY

Desk Officer, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

2.

Comoros

Mr. Kamalidini SOUEF

Director General, Department of Customs

Mr. Said Abdou SALIME

EIF-NIU Coordinator / Trade Policy Adviser

3.

Equatorial Guinea

Sr. Hipolito Ondo ENVO BELA

Secretario de Estado, Ministry of Commerce

Sr. Benjamin Santos EDJABUA DJOMBE

Gabinete Tecnico, Ministry of Commerce

4.

Ethiopia

 

H.E. Mr. Ayana Zewdie WORKNEH

State Minister of Trade, Ministry of Trade

Mr. Mussie Mindaye HAILESILASSIE

Multilateral Trade Relation and Negotiation Director, Ministry of Trade

5.

Somalia

H.E. Ms Faduma MOHAMUD

Ambassador to the WTO in Geneva

6.

Sudan

Dr. Hassan Ahmed Taha AHMED

National Negotiator, Ministry of International Cooperation

Dr. Yassin Eisa Mohamed ABDALLA

Secretary General of NSWTOA, Ministry of International Cooperation

H.E. Mr. Kamal GUBARA

Ambassador, Deputy Head of Mission in Geneva

7.

Timor-Leste

H.E. Mr. Estanislau Da Conceicao ALEIXO MARIA DA SILVA

Minister of State, Coordinating Minister, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries

Ms Maria Rita PIRES

Adviser in Office of Minister of Economic Affairs

Article XII LDC Members

8.

Afghanistan

H.E. Mr. Humayoon Rasaw

Minister of Commerce and Industries

9.

Cambodia

H.E. Mr. Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen

Prime Minister

H.E. Mr. Pan SORASAK

Minister of Commerce

H.E. Mr. Pich Rithi

Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the WTO

    H.E. Mrs Tekreth KAMRANG Secretary of State
    H.E. Mr. Sok SOPHEAK Under Secretary of State
10.

Lao PDR

Mr. Laohoua CHEUCHING

Director General, Ministry of Industry and Commerce

Ms Souvipha INTHAVONG

Trade Policy Analyst, Ministry of Industry and Commerce

11.      

Liberia

H.E. Mr. Axel M. ADDY

Minister of Commerce and Industry

12.

Nepal

H.E. Mr. Deepak DHITAL

Ambassador to the WTO in Geneva

13.      

Samoa

H.E. Mr. Lautafi Fio Selafi PURCELL

Minister of Commerce, Industry and Labour

Mrs Nella Pepe LEVY

Assistant Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

 

Yemen

H.E. Mr. Mohammed AL-MAITAMI

Minister of Industry and Trade

 WTO Members

15.      

Argentina

H.E. Mr. Hector Marcelo CIMA

Ambassador to the WTO in Geneva

16.      

China

H.E. Mr. WANG

Vice Minister of Commerce

   

Ms LI Yihong

Deputy Director-General, MOFCOM

Mr. XU Qisong

Counsellor, MOFCOM

Mr. SONG Yang

Deputy Director, MOFCOM

Mr. WANG Chen

Deputy Director, MOFCOM

Ms LI Jing

Third Secretary, MOFCOM

Mr. DING Li

Third Secretary, Permanent Mission of China to the WTO

17.

European Union

Mr. Mateusz PROROK

Attaché, Delegation of the EU to Cambodia

18.

Japan

Mr. Ryosuke KUWANA

Deputy Permanent Representative

19.      

Kenya

H.E. Mr. Stephen Ndungu KARAU

Ambassador to the WTO in Geneva

20.      

Oman

Ms Hilda AL HINAI

Deputy Permanent Representative of Oman to the WTO

Partner Organization

21.      

Executive Secretariat for the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF)  

Mr. Ratnakar ADHIKARI

Executive Director

Ms TRAN T.T. Hang

Coordinator

22.      

International Trade Center (ITC)

Mr. Rajesh AGGARWAL

Chief, Trade Facilitation and Policy for Business

23.      

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Mr. Alexei KIREYEV

Senior Economist, Former representative to the WTO

External Resource Person

24.      

 

Ms Cecilia Leahy KLEIN

Trade Policy Consultant

WTO Secretariat

25.      

 

Mr. David SHARK

Deputy Director-General

26.      

 

Ms Maika OSHIKAWA

Officer-in-Charge, Accessions Division

27.      

 

Ms Anna VARYANIK

Legal Affairs Officer, Accessions Division

28.      

 

Ms Mariam SOUMARE

Junior Trade Policy Analyst, Accessions Division

29.      

 

Mr. Maarten SMEETS

Chief of Section, TA Coordination, Partnerships and Internship Programmes Section , ITTC

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China and LDC Accessions Programme

For more information on the overall ‘China’s LDCs and Accessions programme’, including background on the key pillars of the programme, please click here.
 

For the respective pillars:

> China WTO Accession Internship Programme

> Annual China Round Tables on WTO Accessions (CRTs)

> Increasing participation of LDCs in WTO meetings

> South-South dialogue on LDCs and development

> LDCs’ Trade Policy Review follow-up workshops

 

 Photos 
Galerie de photos

 

 

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