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United Nations Development Programme
Second Regional Workshop: Trade & Transport Facilitation in Strengthening Arab Economic Integration and Connectivity
AfTIAS - Aid for Trade Initiative for Arab States
Amman - Jordan
06 - 07 Nov 2017
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Amman - Jordan

The Second Regional Workshop on Trade and Transport Facilitation has as target, presentation of good practices and lessons learned from substantial programmes of trade and transport facilitation undertaken by several countries in the world as well as practical experiences of Arab countries in tightening Arab linkage at national and regional level. Specifically, the main subject consists of exchange of views on concrete modalities of activation of measures of trade and transport facilitation aimed at enhancement of quality of logistics services in terms of costs and time in Jordan. 

Expectedly these practices would be adopted by countries in the region with suitable customization in supporting creation of more business opportunities and jobs, not only in trade and logistics suppliers, but also in manufacturing and production with high efficiency – a requirement for any national or regional supply and/or value chain.

Furthermore, the workshop becomes a platform of dialogues in identifying, for effective implementation, measures of trade, transport facilitation and concerned techniques for more streamlined and simplified procedures guided by provisions set for by the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement. More importantly, it is expected that new measures would help to improve the competitiveness to exports of Jordan to the world as well as better performance of logistics services. 
These leverage on current efforts by the Government of making the business environment more viable in recent years. Efforts would be also invested in activation of integrated environment of supply and value chains in Jordan, such as the new generation Jordan National Single Window, as contribution to economic recovery of the country, affected by wars and instability in neighboring countries.

Moreover, this 2nd workshop facilitates also exchange of views of collaboration among key players in the logistics in the public and private sectors with a view of economizing costs and time for clearance, release and conveyance of goods and merchandises to final destinations. As overall, transportation costs and handling costs in Jordan are above the regional average as observed in neighboring countries.1 To address this challenge, appropriate interventions by policy makers in transport sector and those in other concerned sectors are required; private sector should also be involved in the design of responding measures. Through dialogues and consultations, it is expected that collectively, they will come to conclusions on how to deal effectively with this challenge.

Active participation of the private sector plays an eminent role in policy design and implementation of trade and transport facilitation measures; these operations document the level of responsiveness of adopted policies by the Government. Ultimately, they and public policy makers need to be part of the team that creates more and more value for Jordan – creator of public goods for sustainable development.
As a follow up to the first workshop, the event serves to review the progress of implementation of recommendations made by the first Regional Workshop, held in June 2015 with a view to acquire experiences of how to modernize public policies in taking into account operational challenges.
The Ministry of Transport will lead the discussions in this regard and update participants of the 2nd Regional Workshop on new regulations and interventions by the Government in making trade and transport facilitation an engine for more efficient and effective logistics and opening opportunities for Jordan exports to move into high value-added content products to sustain development in the country.

Effective modalities such as coordination mechanisms between national committees for trade and transport facilitation will be also discussed by participants with good knowledge of transport/logistics services.

This Second Regional Workshop will be delivered by experts, resource persons of Governments of Arab countries, international experts and speakers from UNDP, the WCO and regional organizations as well as researchers of think tanks and practitioners of Arab countries, particularly representatives from the private sector and service providers.

Materials may comprise, presentations of international and regional experiences, international standards, analysis of matters related to transport and trade facilitation with focus on modalities and approaches for application in Arab countries.

Participants are also encouraged to highlight matters of their interest as related to trade and transport facilitation with a view to secure cost effective initiatives and promotion of more efficiency in transportation and border management (land and sea primarily). Experiences and constraints faced in operations would be valuable assets for design of correcting measures.

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United Nations Development Programme 
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Other Information

Representatives of target Arab countries and from international, regional organizations would also be invited by the Ministry of Transport as the organizer of the forum. The Ministries of Transport, Trade and Ministries of Finance/Department of Customs are responsible to nominate the participants to the Workshop, in collaboration with UNDP.

Members of the National Committee of Trade and Transport Facilitation of Jordan and representatives of the private sector would be invited to attend discussions of the workshop with a view to contribute inputs and perspectives for the modernization of the legal and regulatory framework, guided by international standards and agreements, particularly the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, the WCO Revised Kyoto Convention.

One senior official of Egypt, Iraq, Morocco Sudan and Tunisia would be invited to the Regional Workshop on Trade and Transport Facilitation, under the patronage of the Ministry of Transport of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, in representing national bodies in charge of trade and transport facilitation, National Committee of Trade and Transport Facilitation in those countries.

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The aim of the Regional Programme is to serve as a bridge between country and global initiatives, and facilitate cooperation among countries sharing similar geographic, social and economic conditions. The work of the Regional Programme is an integral part of RBAS work. It represents four out of seven outcome areas of the UNDP Strategic Plan (2014-2017).

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