unctad.org | WTO A4T Side Event: Harnessing trade facilitation for deeper regional integration: Experience from Asia and Africa
WTO A4T Side Event: Harnessing trade facilitation for deeper regional integration: Experience from Asia and Africa
04 July 2019
12:00-13:00, WTO Headquarters, Room E
Geneva, Switzerland

Key Issues

While regional integration is increasingly viewed as a critical springboard towards economic diversification, yet significant trade costs and trade facilitation bottlenecks continue to dampen the viability of regional value chains. As tariffs are gradually reduced, non-tariff measures play an important role in shaping the outcome of regional trade agreements and contributing to determine their commercial value and rate of utilization.

Against this background, the side event brings together experts working in Asia and Africa, sharing their experiences on how trade facilitation (and the flexibilities of the Trade Facilitation Agreement - TFA) can be best harnessed to deepen regional integration. Concrete examples of regional value chains in both commodity-related and manufacturing sectors will be discussed in a comparative perspective, shedding light on how a strategic approach to trade facilitation could support regional integration and foster economic diversification.

With a view to sharing inter-regional experiences and lessons learnt on the implementation of regional integration agenda, the event will particularly focus on trade facilitation and rules of origin implementation, including provisions of the TFA related to advance rulings and HS code determination.


  • Shamika Sirimanne, Director, Division of Technology and Logistics, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development


  • Hermance De La Bastide, Head of Multilateral and Public Affairs, Pernod-Ricard
  • David Luke, Coordinator of the African Trade Policy Centre, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
  • Cyn-Young Park, Director, Regional Cooperation and Integration, Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department, Asian Development Bank
  • Kayula Siame, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, Zambia
  • Kolawole Sofola, Principal Programme Officer, Multilateral Trade, Trade Directorate, Economic Community of West African States
  • Pan Sorasak, Minister of Commerce, Cambodia
  • Dorothy Tembo, Deputy Executive Director, International Trade Centre
Co-organized with:Division for Africa and the Least Developed Countries
Celine Bacrot
Trade Facilitation Section
Related Sites:
WTO Aid for Trade Global Review 2019: Supporting Economic Diversification and Empowerment
WTO Aid for Trade Global Review 2019

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