tralac at the Bali Trade and Development Symposium, 5 December 2013
tralac was invited to participate in the Bali Trade and Development Symposium (TDS) organised by the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) and the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) that took place from 3-5 December 2013 during the Ninth WTO Ministerial Conference in Bali, Indonesia.
The aim of the TDS was to provide a forum for discussion among government and non-government stakeholders on three broad thematic streams: environment and natural resources, international trade governance and sustainable development and trade and economic development.
The TDS facilitated debate around various interesting issues related to the multilateral trading system and regional trade agendas, especially the future role of Aid for Trade in the WTO, the role of BRICS in the multilateral trading system, a private sector perspective on new areas to include in the multilateral trade agenda, the potential role and impact of mega-preferential agreements on the WTO and the negotiations agenda for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.
On 5 December 2013, tralac, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the African Union Commission (AUC) presented a session focused on trade facilitation challenges, issues and opportunities in the context of the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) negotiations and Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA). The focus of the session was on:
Trade facilitation as an integral part of a 21st century integration agenda in Africa;
The extent and impact of trade costs in Africa;
How the comprehensive trade facilitation programme in the TFTA addresses the issues of non-tariff barriers in eastern and southern Africa;
The provisions regarding trade facilitation in the draft text of the TFTA and their proposed implementation; and
The role trade facilitation can play in boosting intra-Africa trade and realising the CFTA.
The session was concluded with final remarks by Her Excellency, Fatima Haram Acyl the African Union Commissioner for Trade and Industry.