30 – 31 January 2013, Kazan, Russian Federation
After 18 years of negotiations the Russian Federation has joint WTO. The accession of the country to WTO requires a number of activities including capacity development and knowledge sharing on WTO experience of other member-countries. Once the country’s market was open, it became clear that the sensitive and fragile agricultural sector requires special attention. Therefore, the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation requested FAO to assist in capacity development of the country’s stakeholders in domestic support to the agriculture allowed by WTO. As an outcome, REU and FAO Economic and Social Development Department Trade and Markets Division (EST) have jointly organized the workshop, which was supported by the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation and hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Foodstuff of the Republic of Tatarstan.
The main objective of the workshop was to identify specific issues and areas of concern facing the agriculture sector in relation to the commitments made on accession to the WTO and to draw lessons from international experience in developing potential solutions to addressing these issues.
Session I. briefly recapped the key areas of change that bring agricultural and trade policy in line with the rules and agreements of WTO with a special focus on Russia’s specific commitments. Session II. identified the main issues of concern to agriculture sector stakeholders. Session III. and IV. sought to identify how other WTO members, including recently acceded countries have, in adapting their agricultural and trade policies, addressed similar concerns and issues. In Session V. participants worked on “mapping” experiences from other countries to the issues facing Russian agriculture. Session VI. introduced the potential changes to future trade rules, specifically those providing flexibility in the application of support measures in the context of reduced tariff levels. Finally, Session VII. identified possible solutions and steps that must be taken for smooth adoption to WTO rules and the Russian commitments . All the sessions and panel discussions have been delivered with the participation of international experts from different countries and international organizations.
Around 130 participants, representing different stake holders of the country took part in the event.
The workshop demonstrated a high level interest from participants since it has been delivered at high professional level based on the international experience.