Technical Assistance to Côte d’Ivoire for Strengthening its Capacity to Implement and Negotiate WTO Agreements
Despite some initial interventions by JITAP I, the capacity of Côte d’Ivoire (CDI) to comply with WTO Agreements and to conduct multilateral trade negotiations (MTN) to its best advantage is still very limited. In line with the mandate of the PMU, and at the request of the CDI authorities, the proposed project seeked to address this limitation.
The specific objectives of the project were:
To strengthen the capacity of CDI institutions involved in compliance and MTN.
To promote dialogue between the public and private sectors on trade-related issues.
To contribute to enhanced participation of CDI in the ongoing Doha Round, especially in Geneva.
The above objectives will be achieved through a three-stage approach based on training a core group of national trainers.
First, a team of four international trade experts, covering respectively Agriculture, Services, Goods, and TRIPS and new issues, were put at the disposal of CDI. Their initial task, as part of phase one, was to train local academics, selected civil servants and members of the CII to become national trainers and specialists in one or more of the above trade areas.
Under the supervision of the international experts, the local specialists conducted a series of practical workshops targeted at private sector operators, representatives of civil society and officials of ministries and other public bodies with an interest in multilateral trade issues. As part of the practical work, this second phase included an identification of compliance gaps and the formulation of a road map to ensure full compliance within a defined time period. Regarding negotiations, the workshops revisited the proposals and stand of CDI in the areas of ongoing negotiations, with the objective of better reflecting local interests, taking into account commitments already made as part of regional groupings and the like.
The third stage involved the participation of selected officials to negotiations in Geneva for a period of four weeks, with the objective of ensuring coherence between the proposals developed with stakeholders during phase 2 and those defended by CDI in the Doha process. This stage ensured full CDI ownership of the project outputs by enlisting the assent of Geneva-based negotiators.