UNDP through aid for trade initiative for Arab states (AfTIAS) program continues to support Arab countriesin economic diversification and fiscal resilience

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New developments in the global commodity market, particularly in oil and derivatives, put several Arab countries under budget constraints and demand a fresh approach in considering structural adjustments of their economies. Their restructuring may comprise of adoption of new economic strategies with more focus on enhancement of export potential through more efficient and simplified procedures, supported by electronic processing of trade and trade-related data.

Against this background, UNDP AfTIAS Program team assisted Iraq in their analysis of current business environment for the design of new programmes that have as target, improvement of control of international trade, raising revenue for sustainable fiscality, and modernization of regulatory practices in agencies responsible for revenue collection. As part of this assistance, a detailed proposal for modernization of custom revenue collections was submitted to the Prime Minister of Iraq, His Excellency, Haider al-Abadi on May 11 th 2016 in Baghdah, Iraq. These works form part of government efforts on promotion of good governance and anti-corruption in Iraq (in collaboration with the UNDP regional program on anti-corruption, ACIAC).

UNDP AfTIAS Program team also supported Jordan in their strategic planning and design of the next generation of Jordan National Single Window in 2016 through provision of specialized trainings, conduct of technical review, and facilitation of exchange of international experiences by the senior officials and technical experts of the Government of Jordan. Most recently, a study mission was organized to Jakarta from August 29 th to September 1st 2016 to exchange experiences by senior Jordanian officials with

2 | Inputs to AfTIAS Newsletter
Indonesian authorities. Their consultations intend to open new opportunities for collaboration between Indonesia and Jordan (South-South cooperation) in the near future. The work on the National Single Windows forms part of provision of support to countries for preparations of implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement by the WTO. Up to September 2016, United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have already ratified this important Agreement. Introduction of National Single Windows helps countries prepare for the ratification or assist in the implementation of this agreement by phasing out unnecessary trade barriers and promote partnership among related agencies in charge of management of international trade.

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