Trade Policy Tools Training – February/March 2008
Trade liberalization has gained increasing attention both at the bilateral and multilateral level in the past two decades. We have witnessed the formation of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to promote trade liberalization amongst member countries at the multilateral level. More recently there has been a proliferation of bilateral trade negotiations aimed at creating Free Trade Areas amongst trading partners.
Closer to home, in Africa, after the expiry of the WTO waiver to the Cotonou Agreement between the European Union (EU) and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, the parties have been engaged in negotiations to develop a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (EPA) that is WTO compatible.
All these developments have created serious challenges for African countries in terms of capacity to (a) identify our offensive and defensive interests; and (b) to negotiate effectively with trading partners. These challenges have created a demand for capacity building to ensure that African countries are better able to formulate trade policies and trade negotiating positions that are informed and based on each country’s specific priorities.
tralac endeavours to build the capacity to trade better, for countries in the region and hence from 26 February to 7 March, tralac held a series of training workshops in Cape Town (26-29 February) and Namibia (3-7 March) aimed at enhancing the capacity of government officials and non-state actors to effectively engage and contribute to the trade policy formulating process, both at the national and regional level.