WTO Umbrella Grant Project on New Issues
These JSIs involve the subjects of investment facilitation, electronic commerce, and micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). All three of these initiatives are being developed by groups of WTO Members, with the investment facilitation and e-commerce JSIs now involving negotiations.
Our work under this project is with a consortium of partners, including CUTS International Geneva, BKP Economic Advisors, and InterAnalysis at the University of Sussex. It is funded with UK aid from the UK government under the Trade and Investment Advocacy Fund (TAF2+).
We have worked to advance the knowledge base on what these JSIs cover, their history, and where they stand now through a series of "briefs", presented at events with delegates from WTO missions in Geneva and in capital. We have unpacked key issues on how these JSIs interact with other legal and policy frameworks, with our research devoted to topics identified by developing countries and LDCs as being of particular interest.
We have also held regional and national workshops, holding these virtually in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, where we bring together government officials and experts to explore these issues in further depth and understand what they mean at the regional and national levels.
The UK government has established the Trade and Investment Advocacy Fund to provide demand-driven support to trade policymakers and negotiators in eligible countries, communities and organisations.
TAF2+ assistance provides:
- Impartial information, analysis and advice on the technical and legal aspects of trade negotiations, and on formulating negotiating positions;
- Training, capacity building and internships for relevant officials and organisations;
- Limited logistical support to participate in negotiations and key policy meetings.
TAF2+ is managed on behalf of FCDO by a dedicated Fund Manager (FM): CowaterSogema and Saana Consulting. Views expressed in the project's publication and events are the authors' own and do not necessarily reflect HM Government’s official positions or those of TAF2+.
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Joint Statement on Micro, Small, and Medium-Sized Enterprises: History and latest developments in the Informal Working Group
This brief outlines the history and developments of MSME-related discussions in the World Trade Organization (WTO) context, looking specifically at MSME-related issues at the WTO as well as in other forums and contexts.
E-commerce in the World Trade Organization: History and latest developments in the negotiations under the Joint Statement
This negotiating brief was prepared for the Geneva Seminar held on January 29, 2020, on the Joint Statement Initiative (JSI) devoted to electronic commerce, which involves a group of World Trade Organization (WTO) Members.
Investment Facilitation: History and the latest developments in the structured discussions
This negotiating brief was prepared for the January 28, 2020 seminar in Geneva on the Joint Statement Initiative on Investment Facilitation.
The Proposed Multilateral Framework on Investment Facilitation
This paper examines the proposed multilateral framework on investment facilitation and how it relates to existing trade and investment agreements.