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United Nations Development Programme
Regional Workshop on transport services sector and trade facilitation for better connectivity
AEID - Arab Economic Integration for Sustainable Development
Morocco - Morocco
24 - 25 Oct 2019
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Morocco - Morocco
 Based on the requests from Arab countries regarding a better understanding the linkages between the liberalization of trade inservices in transportation/logistics and the facilitation of trade and investment, the UNDP in collaboration with the Ministry ofTrade, Industry and Digitalization of Morocco and the League of Arab States, will organize the first regional sectoral workshopunder the theme of “Transportation Services Sector and Trade Facilitation  Better Synergies in Arab Countries”.


The main subject of the regional workshop will consist of the exchange of views on the importance of trade and transportationservices toward its contribution to enhanced trade facilitation with the aim of the development of an efficient transportation servicesin the Arab region. At the same time, the workshop will look into how to enhance quality of services provided to facilitate intra-Arabtrade flows  in goods and services - and competitiveness in terms of costs and time in Arab countries. In particular, thematicdiscussions would look into how to make transport services as means for improved facilitation of trade and investment and tofoster the mobility of production factors  essential pillars of the Arab Common Market. It serves also to promote exchange ofexperiences and best practices including better implementation of the Arab Trade in Services Agreement, contributing towardsfurther trade in services liberalization and facilitation, improved transportation services for export and reduced trade barriers, aswell as enhanced regional communication and coordination between governmental related-bodies responsible for trade andtransportation services sectors in the Arab countries to support more regional economic integration.

In addition, the regional workshop will provide opportunity for policy makers (officials of the Governments, and their regulatoryauthorities) and the private sector (services exporters, services providers, and transport firms) to come together to look intochallenges to the competitiveness of exports of transportation services among Arab countries as well as to the world. Furthermore, itintends to garner support for the introduction of relevant measures for the improvement of trade and transport services by modernizingregulatory frameworks in the pursuit of better efficiency and competitiveness.

The regional workshop aims at : 1) offering stakeholders an opportunity to provide input to the subject related-matters;

2)   providing an opportunity for participants to directly discuss the transportation services and linkages with trade facilitation with relevant stakeholders from governments and the private sector, as well as international organizations; and 3) engaging stakeholders for discussions on policyreforms and developing the transportation services sector, and to collect insights regarding potential recommendations to be proposed.

Given these dimensions, the workshop is structured in three parts. The first part will be comprised of a set of key speakers from international experts from theWTO, World Customs Organization, UNCTAD, representatives of the Arab governments, specialists in trade in services who will share their perspectives on the topic. This will provide the participants information on the topics and issues at stake, facilitating their participation in the debate. The second part will be aninformed debate, with stakeholders being invited, to provide their input to the discussion by sharing their own concrete experiences, challenges and potential solutions. The third part will be an enlarged debate in which the various speakers will be available to answer questions or react to comments put forward byparticipants and bring up any related issues for a holistic discussion.

Objectives of the upcoming workshop:

Objective 1: To achieve a better understanding of the Arab Agreement in trade in services, General Agreement in Trade in Services and other related internationallegal instruments, and to improve knowledge of multilateral and regional instruments, and their implications on key policy areas concerning services sectors, inparticular transportation and recent development trends in trade in services;

Objective 2: To support the private sector to actively participate to capitalize the potential of transport services, as well as related activities towards service-oriented and inclusive economy through the promotion of more commercial exchanges among countries and to provide inputs to policy makers in the area oftrade in services with regard to the establishment/enhancement of new policies;

Objective 3: To enhance the private sector’s perspective on the linkages between the trade facilitation measures and the transport services sector, including thesignificance and policy implications of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) for national and regional transport and logistics services policies in Arabcountries;

Objective 4: To increase the understanding of the contribution of transportation services sector in supply chains, the development of transportation services sectorand the role of private sector, as well as explore potential gains from the liberalization of the transportation services sector; and

Objective 5: To share knowledge and best practices on the fundamental role that transport services sector could play in trade facilitation reforms, and thus reaffirm the need foractive involvement of, and, on some issues, leadership by, the public and private transport sectors in advancing the reform agenda in the Arab region.
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