Publications and resources

21 March 2017

Building Inclusive Rules of Origin in the 21st Century – ICTSD and IDB – March 2017

This report provides an analysis and evaluation of rules of origin (RoO) in the context of regional trade agreements (RTAs) and the multilateral system. To do so, it looks at the various sectoral approaches to RoO before examining different consolidation and harmonisation models in Europe, North America, and Latin America, and then exploring potential new approaches to simplification, harmonisation, and consolidation of RoO. It finishes by identifying issues needing further study.

How China's Farm Policy Reforms Could Affect Trade and Markets: A Focus on Grains and Cotton – ICTSD – March 2017
This paper examines five important agricultural commodities in China: rice, wheat, maize, soybeans and cotton. It discusses recent developments in prices, production, consumption, and trade for these farm products, in the context of China’s evolving farm policy framework – including most recent policy changes – and global market trends, and looks at the implications of a number of possible policy scenarios on both domestic and international markets.

WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement and its Implementation in Southern Africa – TRALAC – March 2017

The WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) entered into force on 22 February 2017. However, out of the 15 member states of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), only eight have to date ratified and accepted the agreement. Notable by their absence are Angola and South Africa. This trade brief considers some of the major challenges and inefficiencies in cross-border trade in the southern Africa region and the benefits that implementation of the WTO’s TFA could bring for SADC countries.

Technical Note: Next steps upon the entry into force of the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation – UNCTAD – February 2017

The WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) contains provisions for expediting the import, export, and transit procedures to reduce trade-related costs. It also sets forth ground-breaking rules on special and differential treatment, linking implementation by developing and least developed countries (LDCs) to their acquisition of technical assistance and capacity building. This technical note provides guidelines to countries for actions to be taken following the entry into force of the WTO’s TFA.

Trade, Public Health, and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – ICTSD – February 2017

This think piece focuses on two broad public health objectives that would benefit from action in the area of trade policy and trade rules as a contribution to the health-related targets of the 2030 Agenda. These two objectives are health innovation and access to health products of assured quality. The paper outlines how action and reform of relevant WTO agreements could contribute to enhancing innovation and access, and it discusses the role of bilateral and plurilateral agreements in achieving the mentioned targets.

Realising the Potential of Services SMEs in Developing Economies – ICTSD – February 2017

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play a key role in the development of services sectors in least developed countries (LDCs) and low-income countries (LICs). This paper examines this critical role, investigates the primary supply-side constraints which limit SMEs increased participation in the economies of LDCs and LICs, and proposes a set policy options which could boost SME participation, productivity, and competitiveness in the services sectors of the world’s most vulnerable economies.

G20 Guiding Principles for Global Investment Policymaking: A Stepping Stone for Multilateral Rules on Investment -  E15 Initiative (ICTSD and WEF) – February 2017

This paper introduces the G20 Guiding Principles for Global Investment Policymaking, beginning with a background review of their crafting and various attempts at devising guiding principles on international investment, and identifying some of the guidelines that have paved the way for the Principles. It also outlines the objectives, scope and content of the G20 Guiding Principles and considers their potential impact on policymaking at the domestic and international levels.

The Role of Development Banks in Promoting Growth and Sustainable Development in the South – UNCTAD – February 2017

This report argues that development banks at all levels can play a critical role towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. It first details the rationale for national development banks and developing country experiences with such banks in the past. It then discusses the role of regional and subregional banks, in particular in supporting smaller countries facing greater obstacles in setting up development banks at the national level. Finally, it discusses the recently created Southern banks, both regional and cross-regional.

Dealing with Technical Barriers to Trade in the Continental Free Trade Area – TRALAC – February 2017

In order to shape the CFTA as a comprehensive legal framework suitable for 21st century challenges, numerous issues need to be addressed, including customs procedures, tariffs, non-tariff measures, corruption, trade facilitation, trade remedies, dispute settlement, finances, transport, corridors, as well as investment, industrialisation, and the movement of capital and persons across borders. This paper discusses one of the practical issues now on the agenda: the design of a continental scheme to deal with Technical Barriers to Trade.

African Integration: Facing up to Emerging Challenges – ICTSD – December 2016

This paper examines the key elements bearing upon regional integration in Africa. It argues that integration should be conceived as a a means to respond to the development aspirations of societies across the continent starting with concerns around poverty alleviation, food security, and access to essential services. The paper presents the key motivations for deepened integration in Africa, provides a comprehensive overview of experiences to date at the continental level, and on the back of this analysis advances forward-looking options.

Regional Integration and High Potential Value Chains in West Africa – ICTSD – December 2016

This paper aims to provide an understanding of West Africa’s potential for participation in GVCs. Upgrading strategies require identifying value chains in which West Africa has existing capabilities and that also offer (i) dynamic markets, (ii) potential to support Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the most vulnerable countries in the region, and (iii) concrete upgrading opportunities in the near term. Through this approach, the paper identifies the value chains with the highest potential in the region.

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