Iraqi parliamentarians catch-up with the WTO accession process

22 September 2023
ITC News

57 Iraqi parliamentarians recently attended a briefing session that focused on various aspects of the World Trade Organization (WTO) accession process and related key agreements.

Held at the Parliamentary Development Institute (PDI) in Baghdad, the ‘Introduction to WTO Accession’ session aimed not only at updating the participants on the status of the accession but also at improving their understanding of the process.

With their constitutional role, parliamentarians play an important part in the domestic reform process that accompanies the WTO Accession process. In turn, they have a role in ensuring the maintenance of a transparent multilateral trading system.

An open discussion on WTO Accession and the importance of chalking-out long-term development plans to guide the accession process was also held.

The participants appreciated the efforts of the ministries of Trade, Planning, Agriculture and Finance for the accession process and acknowledged the support from the International Trade Centre (ITC).

This awareness raising session comes as part of a series organized by the ITC through the European Union (EU) funded “Strengthening the Agriculture and Agri-food Value Chain and Improving Trade Policy in Iraq” (SAAVI) project.

Since November 2020, ITC has undertaken capacity building session on matters related to WTO Accession for stakeholders including Ministry of Trade, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Finance, State Council, National Committee on WTO Accession, Committee on Trade in Goods and Committee on Trade in Services.

The efforts have enabled regular inter-ministerial coordination and active engagement of all stakeholders.

The support for strengthening trade policy through SAAVI, will help Iraq navigate through the accession process by making strategic decisions on issues related to international trade on goods and services, and investments.

Advisory support will also be provided to adjust the current policy and legal/regulatory frameworks to be more conducive for Micro Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) development, and to attract investments into the country for strategic sectors.

EU-funded SAAVI is contributing to inclusive economic growth and job creation, particularly for youth, by improving Iraq’s agriculture competitiveness and supporting trade development.