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World Bank Institute (WBI) - Africa Knowledge Exchange Series on Trade and Regional Integration

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polnotesThe WBI-AFR Knowledge Exchange Series on Trade and Regional Integration is a collaborative effort between the World Bank Institute and the Africa Vice-Presidency of The World Bank aimed at raising awareness and promoting discussion on key issues related to Trade and Regional Integration in Africa.  It provides a forum for facilitating intra-African experience sharing among policymakers, private sector representatives, and policy analysts. 
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Knowledge exchange events bring together a wide range of participants using the Global Development Learning Network (GDLN). Coordinated by the World Bank, the Global Development Learning Network (GDLN) is a partnership of over 120 recognized global institutions (Affiliates) in over 80 countries that collaborates in the design of customized learning solutions for individuals and organizations working in development. To learn more about the GDLN click here. 



Addressing Non-Tariff Barriers on Regional Trade in Southern Africa
April 5, 2011

This knowledge exchange activity provides a forum for private sector representatives, trade practitioners and policymakers from a number of Southern African economies and Regional Economic Communities to discuss their experiences and the different practical approaches to address the most restrictive Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) to trade in Southern Africa. The Video Conference aims at promoting dialogue between the various stakeholders, as well as facilitating cross-country knowledge sharing on issues relating to NTBs. 

Click here  to download the agenda for this event
Click here  to download the background paper for this event
 

Description

A recent and important trend in global trade has been the proliferation of regional trade agreements (RTAs) and Southern Africa is no exception. Regional integration efforts in Southern Africa, such as COMESA, SADC and SACU, have all sought to liberalize trade between countries so as to increase bilateral trade flows, diversify exports by overcoming the limits of small markets, and deepen specialization through achieving economies of scale. Yet despite these efforts, regional trade outcomes in Southern Africa have been limited due to barriers, particularly non-tariff barriers (NTBs) that persist on regional trade.

This knowledge exchange event will bring together private sector representatives, trade practitioners and policymakers from a number of Southern African economies and Regional Economic Communities to discuss the most restrictive NTBs in Southern Africa. Recent studies highlight some of the costs associated with these barriers using information gathered from some of the largest firms engaged in cross-border trade. For example, Shoprite reports that each day one of its trucks is delayed at a land border in the region costs US$500. These costs serve to thicken regional borders and prevent the development of regional production chains. While there have been some success stories in the region with countries attempting to tackle NTBs, more needs to be done. For example, the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite has set up an NTB Monitoring Mechanism and Mauritius has established a joint Public-Private Standing Committee that is undertaking a review of all NTBs there. Nevertheless in all cases, knowledge-sharing of good practice for regulatory reform remains lacking. This dialogue will contribute to filling this gap by developing some practical policy recommendations on how countries, both unilaterally and through a regional process where there might be gains from cooperation, can remove existing NTBs as well as discipline the development of new ones.


Target Audience


The main target participants for this event are trade practitioners and policymakers from a number of Southern African countries and Regional Economic Communities, as well as private sector representatives interested in discussing the most restrictive NTBs in Southern Africa. Also invited to participate are: academic trade researchers, government officials in other ministries involved in the design and management of NTBs, and staff of other international, regional or bilateral agencies and NGO/CSOs who are
 or will be engaged, in analytical and advisory work on regional trade issues.

Participating Sites

wbi-afr-NTBs
Gaborone, Bostwana: World Bank Office          
Lilongwe, Malawi:  World Bank Office
Port Louis, Mauritius:  World Bank Office
Pretoria, South Africa:  World Bank Office    
Cape Town, South Africa: GDLN Site
Lusaka, Zambia:  World Bank Office
Washington DC, USA:  World Bank Office

 

Reform and Regional Integration of Professional Services in East Africa
April 26, 2011

This knowledge exchange activity provides a forum for representatives of professional associations, private sector representatives, trade practitioners and policymakers from six East African economies to discuss their experiences and the different practical approaches to address regulatory reform and regional integration of professional services. The Video Conference aims at promoting dialogue between the various stakeholders, as well as facilitating cross-country knowledge sharing on issues relating to trade liberalization and regulatory cooperation affecting professional services.

Click here  to download the agenda for this event
Click here  to download the background paper for this event
 

Description

Professional services matter for development in East Africa. Business services, including professional services, are among the most dynamic services sectors; and are a key input for other sectors. Professional services can aid growth through benefits such as higher productivity, lower transaction costs and better production processes.
 National markets for professionals and professional services in East Africa remain underdeveloped, whereas regional markets are fragmented by restrictive policies and regulatory heterogeneity. An effective reform agenda will require policy action in four areas: education, regulation of professional services, trade policy, and labor mobility at both the national and international levels.

This knowledge exchange event will contribute to filling this gap by bringing together representatives of professional associations, private sector representatives, trade practitioners and policymakers from six East African economies to discuss their experiences and the different practical approaches to address regulatory reform and regional integration of professional services, including mutual recognition of qualifications and licensing. The dialogue will highlight progress to date and obstacles to the implementation of the accountancy, engineering and legal services commitments under the Schedule of Commitments on the Progressive Liberalization of Services in the East African Common Market Protocol. The dialogue will also identify concrete recommendations to address the identified barriers and propose a way forward on how countries can develop and implement mutual recognition agreements of qualifications and licensing.

Target Audience

The main target participants for this event are representatives of professional associations, trade practitioners and policymakers from six East African countries, as well as private sector representatives interested in discussing the reform and liberalization of professional services in East Africa. Also invited to participate are: academic trade researchers, government officials in other ministries involved in the design and management of trade and regulatory barriers, and staff of other international, regional or bilateral agencies and NGO/CSOs who are, or will be engaged, in analytical and advisory work on regional trade issues.

Participating Sitesservices event video

Nairobi, Kenya: GDLN Site                          
Dar es Salaam:  GDLN Site
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia:  GDLN Site
Bujumbura, Burundi:  World Bank Office
Kigali, Rwanda: World Bank Office
Kampala, Uganda: World Bank Office
Washington DC, USA:  World Bank Office



 


For more information on the WBI-Africa Knowledge Exchange Series, contact Mr. Jean-Christophe Maur 

 

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