UNCTAD events on the margins of the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference in Nairobi

MC10_350x307.jpgIn partnership with the Government of Kenya, UNCTAD has organized a series of high-level events on the margins of the 10th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (MC10) in Nairobi.

The African Union Commission, the Commonwealth Secretariat and the World Free Zones Organization will also partner in some of the events.

These events will bring together leading voices of the international trade community and serve as a conduit for enriching debates on relevant trade and development issues.


All events will take place at the Sarova Stanley Hotel in Nairobi, located approximately 10 minutes walk away from the MC10 venue.





24 December 2015Launch of the Commodities and Development Report 2015
Technology and Innovation Report 2015
23 December 2015Technology and Innovation Report 2015 launched in Nairobi
23 December 2015Launch of Kenya's investment facilitation e-platform leads to top rating on the Global Enterprise Registration index
23 December 2015Ministerial roundtable calls for "Aid for Investment"
22 December 2015Market access depends increasingly on compliance with trade regulatory measures
22 December 2015The commodity roller coaster and external debt sustainability: UNCTAD@MC10
22 December 2015The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development provides a new direction for the multilateral trading system
22 December 2015Reaping Benefits through Trade Facilitation: Ministerial panel discusses policies to bolster competitiveness, improve governance and enhance regional integration
21 December 2015UNCTAD and TradeMark East Africa sign financing agreement to support trade portals, trade facilitation and trade and gender issues in the East African Community
21 December 2015The Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) is the next major step in Africa's beneficial integration into the global economy: UNCTAD @MC10 Nairobi event on "CFTA: Making it work for Africa"


 Events and Meetings

15 December 2015
+  9.30 - 11 a.m.
Ministerial Roundtable - Organized with the Small Vulnerable Economies Group
Private Meeting

The Small and Vulnerable Economies will encounter in a Ministerial Level Meeting, which will be an opportunity to exchange views and give guidance on how the group should move forward within the WTO.

The focus of the discussions will be on the common interests that the SVE Members pursue, and the characteristics and vulnerability that are intrinsic to them.

The meeting will also be an opportunity to discuss ways to enhance the cooperation with other International Organizations such as UNCTAD, which can contribute with its research and expertise to the group's work.

+  11.30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Reaping Benefits through Trade Facilitation

The WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement represents a great opportunity for developing countries. Experience shows that trade facilitation reforms improve a country's trade competitiveness and enhance revenue collection. What is more, they can help advance development goals such as strengthening governance and formalizing the informal sector. And, since many trade facilitation challenges and solutions are regional, their implementation can boost regional integration.

A round-table discussion will examine the policies that are necessary for developing countries to reap the full development benefits from trade facilitation reforms. The discussion will highlight UNCTAD's work in this area, which has shown that comprehensive trade facilitation reforms can and should be ambitious, and has highlighted the importance of linking such reforms to investments in transport infrastructure and other trade supporting services.

16 December 2015
+  9.30 - 11 a.m.
Continental Free Trade Area: Making it work for Africa

African countries launched the negotiations on the creation of an African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) at the African Union Summit in June 2015. In the same month the Tripartite Free Trade Area in goods, comprising COMESA, EAC and SADC, was also launched.

The WTO MC10 provides a pertinent background in which to hold high-level policy discussions on how the African trade agenda, as reflected in the CFTA, can be used as a building block for Africa's integration into a strong and development-oriented multilateral trading system (MTS).

The High-level Round Table that is held jointly with the African Union Commission and with the Commonwealth Secretariat will discuss key trade and related policies issues in ensuring positive synergies between the CFTA and African countries engagement in the WTO and the MTS. It would address issues such as:

  • Why is the CFTA central to Africa's more beneficial integration into the MTS and how can momentum in this process be built, in light of the situation in global trade talks.

  • How could CFTA negotiations on liberalization of goods become a catalyst for boosting intra-African trade in goods and enhancing Africa's integration into the global economy?

  • What approach and options to the liberalization of trade in services, under the CFTA, would be best for boosting intra-African trade in services, and build upon African countries multilateral commitments?

AU logo       Commonwealth logo
+  11.30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
How can Non-Tariff Measures strengthen Regional Integration and Sustainable Growth?

As tariff levels across the globe have fallen, the ability to gain market access depends increasingly on compliance with trade regulatory measures. Many non-tariff measures (NTMs), such as technical barriers to trade and sanitary and phytosanitary measures protecting health and the environment, are directly linked to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. But NTMs increase costs for exporters and consumers. Balancing the different effects of NTMs is a core challenge for trade policy makers.

The number and scope of NTMs is increasing. The plurality creates a complex system increasing trade costs. Regional Trade Agreements often attempt to address the resulting challenges through harmonization or mutual recognition to deepen their regional economic integration. The multilateral trading system plays and important role to ensure regulatory convergence at the global level.

Discussions will address:

  • NTMs as building blocks for regional integration: defining venues for NTM coherence and harmonization in Regional Trade Agreements

  • NTMs as sustainability policies: maximizing their effectiveness for the attainment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

  • The important role of the multilateral role of the multilateral trading system for regulatory convergence

+  1.30 - 2.30 p.m.
Launch of the Technology and Innovation Report 2015: Fostering Innovation Policies for Industrial Development

Issues of science, technology and innovation remain endemic to trade and development and furthering our understanding on these issues is a pressing need of our times. Deepening its commitment to this goal, UNCTAD will launch the new edition of its flagship Technology and Innovation Report (TIR).

The report studies the experiences of Nigeria, Ethiopia and Tanzania in promoting learning, knowledge accumulation and industrial development, bringing to light the extent to which institutionalized patterns of policy conceptualization and policy implementation are critical to ensure firm-level performance.

+  3 - 5.30 p.m.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the future of the Multilateral Trading System - followed by a reception hosted by the Commonwealth Secretariat

Now that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has been agreed, there is a need to transform the interaction between the 2030 Agenda and the multilateral trade system, from a series of aspirations to an implementation agenda, including within the realm of trade policy.

The discussion will address:

  • To what extent can regional trade integration help to advance the 2030 Agenda and complement multilateral efforts?

  • What difference can the 2030 Agenda really make in relation to the reform and advancement of the multilateral trading system?

  • Given the experiences of the Millennium Development Goals, especially in least developed countries and African countries, how can the 2030 Agenda be more effectively implemented?

  • How will the 2030 Agenda relate to the trade challenges of Small Vulnerable Economies, in addition to those of Small Island Developing States, as defined by the Samoa Pathway?

17 December 2015
+  7.30 - 9 a.m.
UNCTAD Ministerial Breakfast - ICT for Trade and Development
Private Meeting

The expanded use of information and communications technologies (ICTs) continues to transform business activities and, by extension, international trade. Both goods and services are increasingly traded online, transforming global value chains. More activities are becoming tradable and others are increasingly being automated.

The ICT revolution creates both opportunities and challenges for those affected. New business activities are emerging, putting pressure on existing enterprises to adapt and innovate to stay competitive.

From a policy perspective, and with the speed at which the landscape is changing, action is urgently needed to enable more developing countries to reap trade and development benefits from ICT.

This Ministerial Breakfast offers a timely opportunity to discuss pressing questions:

  • How is the evolving ICT landscape affecting the export competitiveness of developing countries?

  • How can the trade performance of developing countries best be supported by leveraging ICTs?

  • How to address existing trade and investment barriers to ICT-enabled trade and e-commerce?

  • How to make the current system of global trade rules better fit to face the ICT opportunities and its challenges?

+  9.30 - 11.45 a.m.
Price slump in commodities: financial implications for commodity exporters

The recent prolonged period of deteriorating commodity prices has put considerable financial pressure on many commodity export-dependent developing countries. As prospects for commodity prices remain highly uncertain, these countries are experiencing a reduction in budgetary revenues and a rise in both the ratios of debt servicing, as a percentage of government expenditures, and of debt to exports.

Two groups of countries might be particularly vulnerable:

  1. Newcomers to the international bond market, some of them post-Heavily indebted poor countries, highly dependent on commodity exports and with limited domestic technical capacity to engage in complex hedging operations to limit the effects of commodity prices on government revenues and on debt servicing;

  2. Countries where the private sector borrowed aggressively against future revenue streams under the assumption of relatively high and stable commodity prices and low foreign exchange volatility.

Drawing on recent UNCTAD research, the session will explore ways in which commodity dependent countries can think about debt and development, and the contribution the international financial community should make to address debt issues.

+  12 - 12.45 p.m.
Launch of the Commodities and Development Report 2015: Smallholder Farmers and Sustainable Commodity Development

Smallholder farmers constitute the largest contingent of the poor and yet they produce more than 80 per cent of the world's food, in value terms.

The Report analyses the context within which they operate and specifically provides new analyses of the state of their integration into the global economy. Recommendations are made for creating an enabling environment for smallholders at the national, regional and global levels, and the need for strong political leadership in reversing the policy neglect that they have suffered from is underlined.

"Business as usual" is not an option if the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is to be achieved. Thus, the Report also calls for a mechanism for greater accountability based on the monitoring of progress on key commitments related to smallholders.

+  12.45 - 3 p.m.
Free Zone of the Future - with a buffet lunch hosted by the World Free Zones Organization

A standing buffet lunch will be hosted by the World Free Zones Organization

This lunch event, organized with the World Free Zones Organization, will debate the future of free zones, export processing zones and special economic zones. It will look at ways in which free zones can find new sources of competitive advantage in the evolving global trading landscape, both in the way they operate and through the services they offer to investors.

Session topics will include:

  • Free Zones of the Future - an initiative of the World Free Zones Organization

  • eRegulations for Free Zones and UNCTAD's approach to documenting, simplifying and automating administrative procedures for business and investors in special economic zones

  • Sustainability Services in Free Zones - with the launch of UNCTAD's new research publication on Sustainable Export Processing Zones

WFZ logo
+  3 - 5 p.m.
Boosting Investment in Productive Capacities: A Call to Action

This panel, organized with the African Union Commission, will discuss paths towards the development of productive capacities in developing countries, especially Africa.

It will examine how governments can better use investment policies and investment facilitation measures to support the development of productive capacities for trade.

The focus of the session will be on the following questions:

  • What are developing countries doing to fully exploit the potential of investment for productive capacity development?

  • How can developing country governments catalyse investment to build productive capacities for trade, and what kinds of investment are required?

  • How can the international community strengthen support for the development of productive capacities for trade in Africa?

AU logo
+  5 - 7 p.m.
Launch of the Kenyan e-Platforms for Trade and Investment Facilitation - with a reception hosted by UNCTAD

This launch session, followed by a reception, will show how trade and investment facilitation are two sides of the same coin. It aims to generate awareness of the existence of the new Portals for Kenya; showcase the Investment and Trade Portals, replicable in other countries; and broadcast the key message of the importance of trade and investment facilitation.

The Investment Portal (IP) which has been built by KenInvest and UNCTAD, with the support of the Government of the Netherlands, streamlines administrative procedures for investors (e.g. registration, permits, paying taxes), provides strategic investment information (e.g. costs of factors of production, sector information), and marketing investment opportunities.

A parallel project, based on the same logic, methodology and technology, is being launched with KenTrade, in partnership with TradeMark East Africa, for customs and trade-related administrative procedures, providing business with an integrated experience for trade and investment related procedures.

Following the launch, there will be an interactive demo using the ePlatform.




Tab Control
Government of Kenya
Map of the Venue

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