The WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation: from vision to reality - and to the future

Commemorative event to celebrate the TFA's entry into force and to look at the road ahead

Registration requested before Thursday 1st June 12:00AM


Opening ceremony

10 AM - 10.15 AM Welcoming remarks


The Long and Winding Road: From A Limited Work Mandate to a full-fledged Agreement

10.15 AM - 11.45 AM
Motivation, Mission, Milestones: a Review of the TFA's Negotiating History

Nora Neufeld

Secretary to the Trade Facilitation Committee

What did negotiators aim for when they launched the negotiations and how did they make it happen? Perspectives from Members (Contributions from developed-, developing and least-developed country negotiators from the early days)

Moderator: Rufus Yerxa

Former DDG responsible for Trade Facilitation and leader of TF discussions at the time of working on a negotiating mandate

Manzoor Ahmad

Pakistan's Ambassador and chief negotiator during the first phase of the negotiations

Paulo Estivallet de Mesquita

Brazil's lead negotiator at the launch of the TF negotiations and during preceding preparatory phase

Muhamad Noor Jacob

Former head of the Core Group and first chair of the Negotiating Group on Trade Facilitation

Bruce Hirsh

US lead negotiator during a critical phase of the negotiations

Edouard Bizumuremyi

TF rep for Rwanda throughout the entire negotiations; focal point for the African Group during a crucial period and active Member of the LLDCs

Vivek Johri

Indian TF negotiator during a critical phase of the negotiations

Players on and behind the scenes: a tribute to the many people who made the success possible and a look at negotiating positions and strategies employed

Moderated by Muhamad Noor Jacob with contributions from the floor


New dimensions: how novel approaches were adopted to pursue long-standing goals and what can be learnt from that for the future

11:45 A.M. - 1 PM
An analysis of the TFA's innovative implementation architecture
Key negotiators reporting on their S&D goals and how they were pursued

Ricardo James

Lead negotiator for the OECS as well as for Dominica during an important phase of the negotiations up until the end

Bruce Hirsh

Matthew Wilson

Lead negotiator of Barbados during much of the negotiations and facilitator for S&D discussions during an early phase

Tanya Prayag-Gujadhur

Former TF negotiator for Mauritius; facilitator for S&D discussions during part of the middle years

Sameh Elkhishin

Former TF negotiator for Egypt and TF focal point for the African Group during a crucial stage of the negotiations


1 PM-3 PM Break


Impact and Implications: An Assessment of the TFA's Benefits and its contribution to development

3 PM - 3.45 PM

Robert Teh

Key author of the WTO's World Trade Report on TF



A recipe for success? Key factors that contributed to the successful conclusion of the TF negotiations and their potential to serve as a model for future work

3.45 PM - 4.45 PM
Perspectives from former negotiators, analysts and other key players in the negotiations

Moderated by Rufus Yerxa

Panellists will include Muhamad Noor Jacob, Paulo Estivallet de Mesquita, Manzoor Ahmad, Bruce Hirsh, Matthew Wilson and Tanya Prayag-Gujadhur with contributions also coming from the floor



On to new challenges: implementing the TFA - where do we stand?

4.45 PM - 5.45 PM
State of implementation commitments

Nora Neufeld

Monitoring implementation

Evdokia Moïsé

Key architect of the OECD's work on Trade Facilitation Indicators

Surveying support: Report on the findings of the A4T questionnaire

Michael Roberts

Aid-for-Trade Coordinator


Closing session

5.50 PM - 6 PM

Concluding remarks by the Secretariat