15 Arab countries participate in regional workshop on WTO negotiation skills

June 3, 2014 3:50 pm

The Ministry of Economy is hosting a five-day workshop “1st to 5th of June” on negotiation skills in collaboration with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Organized under the patronage of His Excellency Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, UAE Minister of Economy, the workshop has drawn the participation of 15 Arab countries and examines trade negotiation strategies in different sectors in line with WTO principles.

The workshop segments participants into teams and offers hypothetical situations that call for an application of their negotiation skills. The session particularly focuses on negotiation techniques in a variety of scenarios, including consultations and coordination among countries.

The training also includes practical sessions on the preparation of proposals in the services sector under the supervision of WTO specialists including Dr Dickson Yeboah, Head of Intensive Trade Negotiations Skills Unit at World Trade Organization. Results of the practical exercises will be assessed and shared to allow participants to compare and contrast negotiation styles and mechanisms.

Pointing out that the WTO is not only a body set-up for the management of trade agreements but also a forum for multi-party negotiations on diverse trade issues, Juma Mohammed Al Kait, Assistant Under-Secretary for Foreign Trade Affairs at the UAE Ministry of Economy said: “The upcoming WTO negotiations will discuss industrial and agricultural commodities, trade services, rules of subsidy, protection and dumping among other areas of concern.

“We believe it is vital for negotiators from the Arab world to be fully trained in handling negotiations. They should also be adept in following up on all negotiation proposals of other member countries. The UAE’s interest in hosting such courses in collaboration with IDB and WTO stems from a need to empower more negotiators with required skills stipulated by the WTO.”

IDB representative Ali Bin Abi Talib said: “We thank the UAE and the Ministry of Economy for hosting this workshop and for its consistent cooperation and support to IDB’s programs. The IDB seeks to enhance the capacities of the region in all areas relevant to WTO. Our Technical Assistance Program is designed to achieve this objective. We have also launched an initiative to strengthen the ability of Arab countries in using trade as a driver for development, investments and jobs creation.”

Dr Dickson Yeboah, Head of Intensive Trade Negotiations Skills Unit at World Trade Organization, said: “The training program tackles negotiating skills, reiterates the commitment of member countries in complying with WTO’s negotiation guidelines, mechanism of negotiation requests and challenges facing negotiators. The course content also factors in practical mechanisms for negotiations in a variety of simulated situations.”

For more information:
Nael Abdul Aziz
Associate Director
APCO Worldwide
(m) +971 55 9869766