Intensive Training Course on the Multilateral Trading System and Accession to the WTO for senior officials from the Republic of Iraq

Date : 25 February - 01 March 2013 Venue : Ankara - Turkey

In collaboration with UNCTAD and SESRIC, the Islamic Development Bank (Cooperation and Integration Department) co-organized an intensive training course on the Multilateral Trading System and Accession to the WTO for officials from the Republic of Iraq.

15 participants representing the Office of the Prime Minister and the following Iraqi line ministries and relevant government institutions attended this training course: Trade, Finance, Environment, Labour and Social Affairs, Health, Industry, High Education and Scientific Research, Justice, Transport, and Culture (National Centre on the Protection of Copyrights). The private sector was represented by the Iraqi Union of Chambers of Industry.

The work programme of the course covered presentations on selected WTO/GATT main agreements as well as other important accession-related topics, including those of procedural nature, which have direct relevance to the Iraqi accession process taking into account national development objectives and priorities of Iraq. It also covered the organizational and substantive preparations required at home, in particular legislative and regulatory reforms to ensure compliance of Iraq’s foreign trade regime with WTO disciplines.

In addition, issues that have a crucial bearing on the economic and social development of Iraq and the potential effects of the accession negotiations have been discussed including agriculture, preparation of market access initial offers in goods and services, import and export regulations, etc.

Moreover, research on recent WTO accession cases particularly from the Arab region was made available to the participants and debated as part of experience sharing and lessons to be learned, which would help Iraq to better prepare for the next phases of its accession process.