UNCTAD and the Global Governance Programme at the European University Institute (EUI) have developed a research and capacity-building programme to assist policy makers and the private sector on specific operationally-important international economic law and policy areas. This programme has been instrumental in supporting the WTO least Developed Countries (LDC) group to the Nairobi Decision on preferential rules of origin for LDCs, holding a series of high-level round tables on rules of origin, and most recently, exploring new approaches to trade facilitation for West African countries.
Most recently, many LDCs and developing countries have entered mega-regional free trade areas such as the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and the Regional Economic Partnership Agreements (RCEP). There are wide expectations of economic prosperity arising from these mega-regional agreements that cover several disciplines encompassing trade in services, goods, and investment in e-commerce and digital services. Yet the effective implementation of such agreements and the depth of effective trade liberalisation will largely determine their success.
As the first implementation steps of AfCFTA have proven challenging for governments and firms, UNCTAD and the Global Governance Programme are organising a roundtable of experts on AfCFTA implementation to discuss the ongoing developments and updates. The aim of the workshop is to provide the necessary room for reflection and identification of possible approaches to facilitate AfCFTA implementation, including tailored research and capacity-building program and the identification of best practices that may be used to address the outstanding negotiating issues.