The study tour has been organized by UNCTAD in collaboration with the South African Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the research institution Trade & Industrial Policy Strategies.
Under its project Addressing the Impact and Implications of the Global Financial and Economic Crisis on Developing Countries through Support to Services Sector Development, UNCTAD seeks to assist developing countries in addressing the challenge of how to make their economies and trade more resilient to external shocks, particularly through the development of their services sectors.
The study tour is part of an on-going Services Policy Review (SPR) of Uganda. SPRs provide systematic analysis of the economic, regulatory and institutional frameworks characterizing national services sectors. The aim is to identify policy options that advance coherent and comprehensive sectoral development and meet trade objectives. UNCTAD undertakes SPRs upon government request.
The SPR for Uganda covers distribution services, information and communication technology-related services, and services auxiliary to all modes of transport. It will combine theoretical knowledge and sharing of experiences between participants on service-sector reforms; policy, regulatory and institutional options; and technical assistance mechanisms available to government officials in charge of services policymaking and services negotiations.
In addition to experts from various divisions of the DTI and from TIPS, representatives from both the public and private sectors in South Africa will be invited to engage in discussions with the Ugandan officials. The study tour seeks to promote institutional cooperation between organizations in charge of services issues, with the aim of strengthening Uganda's capacity for policymaking and trade negotiations.
Other institutions involved in the study tour include the South African Department of Communications; the Foundation of African Business and Consumer Services; the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa; the Small Enterprise Development Agency; the South African Competition Commission; the South African Revenue Services; the Trade Law Centre; and the University of Johannesburg.
The study tour will help Ugandan officials review options for implementing the SPR's findings and recommendations.