UNCTAD is organizing an Expert Group meeting in Geneva for Least Developed Countries (LDCs) on the preparation for the 9th WTO Ministerial Conference in Bali, Indonesia, from 3 to 6 December 2013.
UNCTAD has been assisting the LDCs to better participate in the multilateral trading system and in taking advantage of the Duty Free and Quota Free (DFQF) protocol granted by preference giving countries.
The LDC group has developed an "LDC package" called "the road to Bali", essentially involving four areas:
- Implementation of the duty-free and quota-free market access Decision taken by Members at the Hong Kong Ministerial Conference in 2005 (DFQF Decision)
- Preferential rules of origin
- Operationalization of the LDC Services waiver
The objective of the UNCTAD Expert Group meeting in Geneva is to discuss and brainstorm on the issues contained in the "LDC Package", and set the stage for the possible scenarios leading upt to, during and after the WTO Bali Ministerial.
The meeting aims at discussing the key issues of strategic interest for LDCs and assessing the challenges, opportunities and prospects for the "LDC package" and related issues such as trade facilitation. In this regard, the meeting is expected to bring together international experts and government officials to discuss the various policy options and modalities.
The final outcome of the meeting will also assist UNCTAD and LDCs to identify future areas of activities and studies to be undertaken.