Fri 26-03-2021 09:32 AM
GENEVA, 26th March, 2021 (WAM) -- Key trade negotiators, decision makers and private sector representatives from Arab and Middle Eastern countries discussed contemporary trade policy issues in the region, including the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, in a roundtable discussion held online. The debate was organised as part of the WTO’s online Regional Trade Policy Course for WTO members and observers in the Arab and Middle Eastern region.
The discussion, entitled "Digital Trade and Economic Development of Arab and Middle Eastern countries", comprised speakers from the Arab and Middle Eastern region and the Geneva-based trade community. The themes under discussion were: the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the region's economy and the growth of digital trade in traditional economic activity, the importance of digital trade to the region's economic diversification, and the private sector's perspective on digital solutions for financial inclusion.
The discussion took place during the WTO's first online Regional Trade Policy Course for WTO members and observers in the Arab and Middle Eastern region. The course was held from 7 December 2020 to 25 March 2021 with the participation of 16 government officials. This course is one of several online training activities organised by the WTO Secretariat to ensure trade-related technical assistance continues to be made available to government officials from WTO members and observers in spite of the pandemic.
Organised by the WTO's Institute for Training and Technical Cooperation, the course aimed to replicate most of the training components offered by face-to-face regional trade policy courses. It touched upon the WTO agreements, trade rules and procedures, and regional trade policy issues. It consisted of self-learning, interactive case studies and exercises and live webinars by WTO experts and trade-policy academics and practitioners from the region.