The WTO Advanced Course on Regional Trade Agreements has begun on Sept 16 and will go up to Sept 20, 2013. Around 30 participants from across the world, including some officials from Geneva-based delegations are attending the course. The course is “level 3”, the highest level training activity implemented within the WTO’s progressive learning framework. Due to its advanced nature, the course will encourage the active involvement of participants and will address key issues relating to regional trade agreements (RTAs), such as transparency, compliance with existing WTO rules, and RTA rules negotiations in the context of the Doha Development Round.
This one-week course comprises a series of sessions and practical exercises related to the implementation of WTO rules and procedures relating to RTAs. In addition, it provides participants with the opportunity to attend the regular meeting of the Committee on Regional Trade Agreements (CRTA) and to learn about how it functions, its rules and procedures as well as the importance of notifications and transparency in the Committee’s proceedings.
The coverage of the course will allow for a broad exchange among participants of their experiences on RTAs and related issues. Three participants from regional secretariats will also share their experiences through dedicated sessions on the RTAs they assist in implementing. In addition, selected Geneva-based delegates have been invited to meet with participants and to discuss the relationship between RTAs and the WTO and a possible way forward.