Import Ref: 
29
Import Imported: 
1

E-commerce discussions in Geneva, in regional capitals, and beyond are grappling with the challenges of formulating appropriate policy responses to the digital transformation of trade. The literature is clear, e-commerce has the potential to bring significant development benefits, but these will not be automatic. Moreover, significant gaps in capacity, capital and skills could imperil the equitable distribution of the benefits of digital transformation and prevent them reaching the world’s poor.

Moving from the theoretical to the practical is a challenge. The rise of the digital economy is marked by an increasing concentration of market shares, and a growing sense of tension between the public interests and the consolidation of big data based companies. Governments, particularly in the developing world, look at this situation with scepticism and wonder what is needed to evolve from takers to value creators.

This workshop will look at the relationship between e-commerce and development both from a policy and a trade negotiations perspective. In doing so, we will address questions around the nature of special and differential treatment and its evolution, the relevance of competition policy in the context of the digital economy, and the shaping of trade negotiations, particularly at the WTO.

Attendance to this event is by invitation only.

The context setting is done by Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz, Chief Executive of ICTSD.

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Place: 
Geneva, Switzerland
Event type: 
Our events
Image: 
Promote to homepage: 
No
Region: 
Global
Main Tag: 
Digital Economy
programme: 
programme 1
Language: 
English
Partners: 

 

This event is organised with the generous support of The Goverment of Finland....

Date period: 
Wednesday, 14 November 2018 - 9:15am to 5:30pm

New technologies and their applications drive profound industrial and societal reorganization. Despite improved efficiency and aggregated enormous wealth associated with certain economic structure and business models as enabled by technologies, a constant issue has always been proper policy responses in dealing with negative externalities, including the alarming gap between rich and poor. Dramatic social reactions against trade and globalization are a good testimony of this kind of policy failure.

With the advent of disruptive technologies, rapid applications of foundational technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), and distributed ledger technologies (DLTs), will further alter the way industries operate and crash some fundamental concepts in existing trade policies. The challenge for the global trade community is keeping up with developments and harnessing the power of disruptive technologies and reflecting relevant adaptations in future trade rule-making and negotiations agenda, with a view to among other things achieving sustainable development. A few countries and regional integration schemes are already experimenting on innovating in this regard.

During the session, the participants had an interactive interdisciplinary exchange on the application of disruptive technologies and related business models at company level in international trade, at government level in the context of trade policy formulation and implementation, and emerging collaboration and potential issues at international level. The discussion also focused on opportunities and challenges for new and the existing global trade and investment frameworks, directions of the next generation of global trade policy, and their implications on inclusiveness and environmental sustainability.  

Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz, Chief Executive of ICTSD, is the moderator.

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Place: 
Geneva, Switzerland
Event type: 
Our events
Image: 
Promote to homepage: 
No
Region: 
Global
Main Tag: 
Technology
Language: 
English
Date period: 
Wednesday, 3 October 2018 - 8:00am to 9:45am

In supporting and participating in the organisation of this regional multistakeholder policy dialogue on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), ICTSD aimed at filling important knowledge gaps around the agreement’s implementation and phase 2 negotiations commencing in August 2018. In particular, this covered areas such as e-commerce, investment facilitation, competition, and intellectual property as well as gender equality.

The dialogue created an open and inclusive space for debate on the substance and form of the AfCFTA. Discussions assessed the strengths and weaknesses of the AfCFTA process and put forward recommendations intended to facilitate its optimal implementation in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) region and identify effective paths forward for the next phase of negotiations.

Main takeaways

  • Rules of origin: it will be important to clearly and accurately define the criteria that will enable the identification of products originating from within the regional space. The meeting recommended that negotiators adopt flexible rules of origin with a view of ensuring priority access for African companies to the continental market and so that countries can develop their productive capacities and create regional and continental value chains.
  • Sensitive and excluded products: consensus must be reached on sensitive products and also an explicit determination of the products excluded from the free trade area.
  • Different levels of development: while embracing an ambitious agenda of regional integration, the varying socioeconomic realities, industrialisation needs, and structural deficits across countries and regions need to be taken into consideration.
  • Participation: the lack of broad and inclusive consultations with all relevant stakeholders at national and regional levels has been a major deficiency that has driven legitimate concerns expressed by actors in many countries regarding the trade deal’s outcomes.
  • Timelines: in some instances, accelerated negotiations and tight deadlines have not allowed for proper analyses and evaluations to be carried out in order to formulate informed and shared positions – including in relation to political economy considerations.
  • Regional Economic Communities (RECs): the AfCFTA must be designed as an instrument to strengthen the achievements of the RECs. It was recommended that ECOWAS countries should preserve the integrity of the customs union, in particular by preventing members from making commitments or implementing the AfCFTA individually and/or outside of their regional obligations.
  • Coherence with external commitments: Participants agreed that it was important to seize the opportunity of the AfCFTA negotiations to review a number of existing agreements between African countries and regions with their external partners, in particular the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) with the European Union, and to revise certain protocols and agreements intra-regional where necessary;

The dialogue was initiated by a group of regional and international organisations, and actors, including the African Center for Trade, Integration and Development (Enda CACID), the United Nations Institute for Economic Development and Planning (IDEP), the Third World Network Africa (TWN Africa), the International Center for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD), and the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF). The Commissions of the African Union, ECOWAS, and ECCAS, the OSIWA Foundation, and GIZ provided technical and financial support.

A full meeting report prepared by Enda Cacid is available in English and in French.

Attendance was by invitation only.

Undefined
Place: 
Dakar, Senegal
Event type: 
Our events
Image: 
Promote to homepage: 
Yes
Updates: 
Ratification of African Continental Free Trade Area Gets UnderwayAfrican Leaders Launch Continental Free Trade AreaUS, African Officials Prepare for Post-AGOA Trade Future
Region: 
Africa
programme: 
programme 1
Language: 
English
Partners: 

CACID Logo...

Date period: 
Thursday, 26 July 2018 - 8:30am to Friday, 27 July 2018 - 6:00pm

Room W. Centre William Rapard, ©WTO

 

The ELSA Moot Court Competition on WTO Law (EMC2) is a student-organized competition designed to enhance knowledge of international trade law and WTO dispute settlement procedures. ELSA is especially dedicated to enhance capacity for meaningful engagement in multilateral trade in the long term.

 

ELSA Moot Court Competition on WTO Law (EMC2) 

The European Law Students’ Association (ELSA) is an international, independent, non-political, non-profit organization run by and for students and young lawyers since 1981. The EMC2 is one of the flagship activities of ELSA since 2002.

The main aim of the Competition is to assist countries in developing their technical legal capacity by preparing the next generation of trade lawyers and negotiators. With technical support from the WTO, the Competition has grown to become the only global moot court competition on WTO Law.

Participants from around the world send in written submissions, for the complainant and respondent, in a fictitious case. After sending their submissions, all the teams are given the opportunity to present oral arguments in front of panels which consist of WTO and trade law experts. Winning teams from five Regional Rounds (two European Rounds; an Asia-Pacific Round; an All-American Round; and for the last three years, an African Round) compete against each other in the Final Oral Round held in Geneva, Switzerland at the WTO headquarters. 

The African Regional Round of EMC2

The African Regional Round was held for the first time in 2013, and has since grown in terms of participation and support of universities in the region. The organizers welcome donations and other forms of support in order to encourage and sustain the active participation of universities in the region.

 

Who has participated?

In the first ever Africa Regional Round held in 2013, 7 teams from 6 different countries participated. In 2015, 8 teams from 5 countries participated: Kenya, Lesotho, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. Two of these teams also included nationals from Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In 2016, 10 teams competed from various African countries, including: Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and South Africa. In 2017, teams from Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Liberia, Lesotho, and Uganda participated. This year, teams from 10 different countries (Ethiopia, Malawi, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Lesotho, Tunisia, Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Uganda) will participate, with Nigeria, Tunisia and Zimbabwe joining the competition for the first time.

 

How to get involved?

Your valued contribution will help ELSA International in supporting the participation of students in the region at the African Regional Round and the final Oral Round in Geneva in June. Donation instructions can be found at > emc2.elsa.org/partners/ (Please indicate Support for the African Teams as donation purpose)

 

ICTSD as a sponsor

The goal of ICTSD is to advance sustainable development through trade-related policy making. ICTSD strives to ultimately strengthen developing countries’ legal capacity.

Since 2014, ICTSD has been providing institutional support to the African Round of EMC2 as a sponsor. ICTSD considers the Competition as one of the keys to having a pool of young talents in the field and in turn further the legal capacity in the region. 

 

Participant's testimony

“Taking part in this competition opened my eyes to a whole new world with possibilities I had never even contemplated. The moot gave me insight into the world of WTO dispute resolution and actually got me interested in pursuing this as a career option. The moot fueled my desire to one day be among the few international trade law specialist lawyers in Africa.” 

Diana Rufaro Machingaidze, participant 2014/2015

 

The 2017-2018 Round

25 April – 29 April 2018

Strathmore University, Nairobi

EMC2, African Round > emc2.elsa.org 

 

The Hosting University

Strathmore University participated in last year’s African Regional Rounds of the EMC2 with success. This participation has resulted in increased academic interest among students and faculty at the university, and incentivized students to enhance their capacities in this field through further study or relevant career path.  The Strathmore Law School has decided to host the African Regional Round in order to contribute to this important capacity building initiative, which has already created enormous opportunities for learning and personal growth among African students. Strathmore Law School (SLS) is one of the constituent schools of Strathmore University (SU), a leading non-profit private university in Kenya, which aims at serving the Kenyan society to the best of its ability. SU holds a peerless reputation for quality in academic and professional education as well as personal formation. 

 

Undefined
Place: 
Strathmore University
Event type: 
We participate
Theme: 
TRADE LAW
Promote to homepage: 
No
Region: 
Africa
Main Tag: 
Event
programme: 
programme 1
Language: 
English
Date period: 
Wednesday, 25 April 2018 - 10:00am to Sunday, 29 April 2018 - 10:00am

 

                                                        Room W. Centre William Rapard, ©WTO

 

The ELSA Moot Court Competition on WTO Law (EMC2) is a student-organized competition designed to enhance knowledge of international trade law and WTO dispute settlement procedures. ELSA is especially dedicated to enhance capacity for meaningful engagement in multilateral trade in the long term.

 

ELSA Moot Court Competition on WTO Law (EMC2) 

The European Law Students’ Association (ELSA) is an international, independent, non-political, non-profit organization run by and for students and young lawyers since 1981. The EMC2 is one of the flagship activities of ELSA since 2002.

The main aim of the Competition is to assist countries in developing their technical legal capacity by preparing the next generation of trade lawyers and negotiators. With technical support from the WTO, the Competition has grown to become the only global moot court competition on WTO Law.

Participants from around the world send in written submissions, for the complainant and respondent, in a fictitious case. After sending their submissions, all the teams are given the opportunity to present oral arguments in front of panels which consist of WTO and trade law experts. Winning teams from five Regional Rounds (two European Rounds; an Asia-Pacific Round; an All-American Round; and for the last three years, an African Round) compete against each other in the Final Oral Round held in Geneva, Switzerland at the WTO headquarters.

 

The African Regional Round of EMC2

The African Regional Round was held for the first time in 2013, and has since grown in terms of participation and support of universities in the region. The organizers welcome donations and other forms of support in order to encourage and sustain the active participation of universities in the region.

 

Who has participated?

In the first ever Africa Regional Round held in 2013, 7 teams from 6 different countries participated. In 2015, 8 teams from 5 countries participated: Kenya, Lesotho, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. Two of these teams also included nationals from Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In 2016, 10 teams competed from various African countries, including: Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and South Africa.

How to get involved?

Your valued contribution will help ELSA International in supporting the participation of students in the region at the African Regional Round and the final Oral Round in Geneva in June. Donation instructions can be found at > emc2.elsa.org/partners/ (Please indicate African Round as donation purpose)

 

ICTSD as a sponsor

The goal of ICTSD is to advance sustainable development through trade-related policy making. ICTSD strives to ultimately strengthen developing countries’ legal capacity.

Since 2014, ICTSD has been providing institutional support to the African Round of EMC2 as a sponsor. ICTSD considers the Competition as one of the keys to having a pool of young talents in the field and in turn further the legal capacity in the region. 

 

 

Taking part in this competition opened my eyes to a whole new world with possibilities I had never even contemplated. The moot gave me insight into the world of WTO dispute resolution and actually got me interested in pursuing this as a career option. The moot fueled my desire to one day be among the few international trade law specialist lawyers in Africa.” 

Diana Rufaro Machingaidze, participant 2014/2015

 

The 2016-2017 Round

9 April – 13 April, 2017

Rhodes University, Grahamstown

EMC2, African Round > emc2.elsa.org 

 

The Hosting University

Rhodes University participated in the inaugural and second African Regional Rounds of the EMC2 with success. This participation has resulted in increased academia interest among students at the university, and incentivized students to enhance their capacities in this field through further study or relevant career path.  The Rhodes University Faculty of Law has decided to host the African Regional Round in 2017, having hosted the African Regional Round for the first time in 2016, in order to make its contribution toward this important capacity building initiative, which has already created enormous opportunities for learning and personal growth among our students.

 

Undefined
Place: 
Rhodes University
Event type: 
Our events
Theme: 
TRADE LAW
Image: 
Promote to homepage: 
No
Region: 
Africa
Main Tag: 
Event
programme: 
programme 1
Language: 
English
Date period: 
Sunday, 9 April 2017 - 12:00am to Thursday, 13 April 2017 - 12:00am