Multilateral trade integration

    Overview

    ITC works towards the inclusive integration of countries into a multilateral trade framework. We do this by providing support to countries acceding to the WTO, post-accession support to countries on multilateral trade commitments, and advisory support on trade policy reviews.

    ITC facilitates the informed participation of stakeholders in multilateral trade negotiations, including negotiations on WTO Joint Statement Initiatives, and the implementation of multilateral rules in the domestic frameworks.

    We offer advisory services, capacity building, and public-private dialogues to foster consensus on the formulation and implementation of trade policy.

    WTO accessions

    ITC has been successfully assisting developing and least developed countries, including conflict affected states, in their WTO accession process since 2009. Our technical assistance is customized to each country’s stage of accession, specific economic situation, and development strategies. Our help also extends to the post-accession period to ensure countries are able to continue maximising the opportunities from WTO Accession and respond to any challenges.

    ITC supports the informed participation of stakeholders in WTO Working Party meetings; revisions of key accession-related documents such as the Memorandum on the Foreign Trade Regime; technical support to prepare Legislative Action Plans; and regulatory assessments and legislation reviews to ensure compliance stemming from the WTO framework and alignment with national trade policy.

    ITC offers targeted training programmes for the public and private sector on WTO agreements, business implications stemming from  WTO membership, and key areas such as green growth and e-commerce. ITC also supports business associations and related stakeholders on any policy and regulatory changes and develops business guides to help the private sector leverage the benefits of trading agreements.

    Implementing multilateral commitments

    ITC facilitates the compliance and implementation of WTO commitments and obligations to strengthen multilateral trade integration. This includes supporting countries to engage in the rule-based trading system by effectively implementing WTO agreements covering goods, services, intellectual property, investment, and trade remedies among others.

    ITC undertakes compliance assessments of national frameworks with WTO Agreements and provides technical support to align domestic policy, regulatory and institutional frameworks with the multilateral commitments, and builds up the capacity of policy officials, investigators, lawyers and businesses to implement the regulations.

    WTO Joint Statement Initiatives

    ITC supports countries to effectively participate in the WTO Joint Statement Initiative (JSI) negotiations by generating understanding among stakeholders on the topics being negotiated, developing and formulating negotiating positions, preparing submissions, and helping align domestic frameworks.

    ITC publishes toolkits and guidebooks to support trade negotiators and delivers capacity building programmes for public and private sectors to ensure related reforms are implemented in an inclusive and integrated manner.

    Trade policy reviews

    All WTO members are subject to periodic reviews of their national trade policy to ensure the smooth functioning of the multilateral trading system by enhancing the transparency of members’ trade policies. WTO members have to prepare for these reviews and develop a policy statement, which is reviewed along with the WTO Secretariat Report.

    ITC supports countries to prepare for these Trade Policy Reviews. We provide reviews of domestic trade legislative instruments and institutional structures and capacity building for relevant trade officials on the trade policy review process. We also support the development and implementation of roadmaps based on the trade policy review to align domestic trade policies with multilateral commitments.  

    ITC contact

    Trade Policy Team
    Email
    itctradepolicy [at] intracen.org