Research Backed Practice Essential for Equitable Trading Systems: Director of WTO's Development Division

New Delhi, October 02, 2009

For an equitable and just world trading system, trade policy formulation and practice should be founded on research which takes into account ground realities in developing countries and specific needs of vulnerable groups, said Shishir Priyadarshi, Director of the Development Division of WTO. He commended the efforts of NGOs involved in such research initiatives and highlighted their usefulness for WTO's functioning.

Priyadarshi was speaking at a conference in Geneva titled 'Improving Ownership through Trade Policy Making Process: Lessons from Africa' organised by CUTS Geneva Resource Centre on 1 October 2009. A volume capturing the first research results of the CUTS project, 'Fostering Equity and Accountability of Trading Systems (FEATS)' was released by him followed by a discussion among an audience of trade policy experts and researchers.

Delivering the inaugural address on behalf of Mr. Petko Draganov, Deputy Secretary General of UNCTAD, Mina Mashayekhi, Officer-in-charge, Division on International Trade in Goods and Services said that the FEATS initiative is a unique research programme to study the inclusiveness of various stakeholders in the trade policy making process in select African States. The study, he added, had been conducted very methodically with the development of an index for measuring inclusiveness. He called for its application to other developing and developed countries to identify and alleviate the deficiencies in trade policies and thereby help reap the full benefits of trade.

H. E. Maurice Kagimu Kiwanuka, Ambassador of Uganda and H. E. Brave R. Ndisale, Ambassador of Malawi chaired the detailed discussion sessions on the FEATS study results and the agenda for the second phase of research. Researchers from five project countries presented the objectives and methodology for the proposed research, incorporating constructive comments from the audience about how to best evaluate linkages among agriculture, food security, trade facilitation and rural livelihoods. About 50 delegates from various countries participated in the deliberations.

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