In November 2016, Anna attended the first Trade Policy Dialogue in Geneva. The Dialogue series was organized by the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) with cooperation with the World Economic Forum as part of the E15 Initiative.
These events were aimed at engaging key stakeholders – trade and investment policy makers, business and thought leaders – in discussions on free trade agreements and wider trade policy to support regulatory coherence and promote convergence.
The November 2016 event focused on exploring ways to harmonize rules of origin. The discussion touched on several aspects of preferential origin including how stringent rules of origin affect developing countries ability to fully benefit from the enhanced market access granted through preferential schemes or negotiated under FTAs. Anna’s paper written as part of this Dialogue can be found here.
In March 2017, Anna attended a second Policy Dialogue, this time focusing on wider aspects of free trade agreements. Day 1 of the Dialogue covered provisions for regulatory cooperation under FTAs. Day 2 focused on promoting sustainability through trade agreements.
Finally, in June 2018, Anna participated in the third Policy Dialogue entitled Facilitation 2.0 in Regional Trade Agreements: Enabling Trade in the Digital Age. The event took place a year after the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement entered into force.
This Dialogue focused on the role of trade agreements in supporting trade facilitation efforts. Participants identified best practices and shared experiences with the view to eventually embed coherence-building mechanisms into the fabric of future WTO based trade talks.
The Policy Dialogues stopped after ICTSD ceased to exist. However, the participants have remained in contact and formed an informal international network of FTA and rules of origin specialists leading to several joint projects, client work and publications.
Anna continues to draw on this network in her client work.