News 2014

ICPE-UNCTAD Workshop on Non-Tariff Measures in World Trade 8-9 October 2014

On the 8th and 9th of October 2014 the participants of the Non-tariff Measures workshop, jointly organized by ICPE and UNCTAD, held in the Slovenian capital Ljubljana, covered a broad range of topics, beginning with a general overview of Non-tariff measures (NTMs) and trade facilitation.

The opening session of the workshop debuted with addresses delivered by Janez Podobnik (Acting Director General, ICPE); Marjan Hribar (Director General, Tourism and internationalization Directorate, Ministry of Economic Development and Technology of the Republic of Slovenia); Guillermo Valles (Director, Division on International Trade in Goods and Services and Commodities, UNCTAD); Renata Vitez (Director, CEFTA Secretariat) and Ralf Peters (Chief, Trade Information Section, UNCTAD).

 

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(From left) Ms. Renata Vitez (Director, CEFTA Secretariat), Mr. Marjan Hribar (Director General, Tourism and internationalization Directorate, Ministry of Economic Development and Technology of the Republic of Slovenia), Mr. Janez Podobnik (Acting Director General, ICPE) and Mr. Ralf Peters (Chief, Trade Information Section, UNCTAD).

 

The workshop looked closer into UNCTADs program on NTMs and trade facilitation by emphasizing NTMs and non-tariff barriers which were presented also through the concrete example of the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA). The representative of Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zuzammenarbeit (GIZ) described their approach and work on trade facilitation, the projects implemented, as well as the importance of education and their international cooperation. The panelists agreed that even though the area of NTMs is complex, important and difficult, it has to be addressed in order to move ahead with liberalization or a deep integration agenda.

The round table on NTMs, trade facilitation and development tied the two-day workshop together. The panelists brought attention to the countries development plan, discussing the practical examples of implementing new technologies such as an automated customs service which would facilitate trade and cut down costs. It was also stressed that investing in newer technologies also means investing in the education of human resources in order to be able to effectively use new technologies. NTMs and trade facilitation are important elements that can assist to further enhance development in many countries. Therefore it was recommended that countries should not only achieve the minimum standards set by the World Trade Organization but also go beyond the minimum, and thus facilitate trade even more, as it would benefit all parties.

Between the three institutions, UNCTAD, CEFTA and GIZ, new relationships were formed, while old ones were renewed and strengthened. ICPE is proud to have jointly organized the workshop together with UNCTAD, workshop during which so many experts presented their important work and knowledge and would therefore like to express its gratitude to all the panelists, as well as to the very active participants.

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ICPE aims to continue to organize similar events where relevant actors who deal with the aspects of non-tariff measures are brought together in order to share their theoretical knowledge and practical experiences.