EPDF, WTO to hold Arab Consultation Forum in Amman

AMMAN—–January 28, 2013—– Under the Patronage of HM King Abdullah II, the Arab Consultation Forum organized by the Economic Policy Development Forum (EPDF) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) will be held February 11, 2013 at Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Knowledge Forum.

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The event is gaining considerable interest and support from ministers, experts in trade and industry, finance and planning, chambers of commerce, central banks and economic organizations and businessmen, as well as representatives of the Arab countries in the World Trade Organization.

HE Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, EPDF’s chairman and member of the World Trade Organization Expert Panel (WTO-EP) for defining the future of World trade, WTO’s Director General, Mr. Pascal Lamy, HE Mr. Hatem Halawani, Jordan’s Minister of Industry and Trade and Qatar’s Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage HE Dr. Hamad bin Abdul Aziz Al Kuwari will deliver speeches at the Opening session.

This will be followed by a special session on the future of world trade with a Q&A moderated by Jordan’s Minister of Industry and Trade.

A closed roundtable which is an INVITATION-ONLY event featuring Mr. Lamy, Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh and two speakers from every Arab country to discuss the future of world trade will follow the lunch break.

The event will also include a lecture by the WTO’s Director General at the University of Jordan in which he will discuss several key issues including the future of world trade.

The Forum serves as a platform for exchanging views between the WTO represented by its Director General, Mr. Lamy and WTO-EP represented by its member HE Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh on one part and decision makers and stakeholders in the Arab world on the other. It also presents the various views and interests of Arabs to propose them for the upcoming ministerial conference.

Several key themes will be discussed in the Forum including:

What are the main drivers and shaping factors of world trade in the 21st Century? 

What has changed in world trade from the perspective of the Arab world?

How does trade contribute to development?

What are the main obstacles to trade in the Arab region?  How can the Arab world – acceding countries – be integrated more rapidly in the Multilateral Trading System?

Are regional trade agreements a help or hindrance to the Multilateral Trading System?

To what extent are Global Value Chains key to world trade?

What are the obstacles to Trade Finance?

Forum recommendations will be incorporated in the report presented by the WTO-EP to address the flaws and negatives in the world trade system and meet the challenges of the 21st Century.

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