Trade and markets
©FAO/Alessia Pierdomenico

Workshop: Resolving agricultural trade issues through the WTO

7 June 2017, Kiev, Ukraine

Background and objectives

Accession of countries to the World Trade Organization (WTO) facilitates their more active engagement in international trade including agri-food trade. The WTO membership assumes that the participants comply with unified trade rules and apply transparent instruments to regulate trade flows thereby ensuring stability and transparency of trade. Countries, however, are often having different opinions concerning specific rules applied by one or another party, and seeking a way to settle their disputes. Understanding the rules and procedures of mediation and dispute settlement available under the various trade agreements enhances stability and predictability of international trade. However, many countries recently acceded to the WTO are lacking professional expertise to effectively settle agriculture-related trade issues, what limits abilities of the private sector of these countries to benefit from the trade agreement.

The goal of the workshop is to provide information about various tools of trade issues settlement in agri-food trade. The workshops aims to raise awareness of its participants on various mechanisms, rules and procedures for mediation and settlement of trade disputes and to provide practical recommendations on identifying particular measures that would ensure proper implementation of trade rules in food import and export.

The workshop will include presentations of experts and group works during which the following topics will be discussed:

• Consultations and other out-of-court options of settling trade issues, including procedures related to sanitary and phytosanitary measures
• WTO trade issues settlement mechanism and its practical aspects
• Case studies on trade issues settlement

Expected outcomes
During the workshop, participants will learn mechanisms, rules and procedures for trade issues settlement within the WTO framework using various approaches including consultations, mediation, and formal dispute settlement mechanisms.

The workshop is intended for representatives of ministries of agriculture, trade and other public authorities responsible for regulation of agricultural trade in the WTO member countries along with representatives of producer associations and agribusiness, academia and specialists working on agricultural trade.