In realising mandates by Arab Leaders in regional economic integration, UNDP assisted Economic Sector of the League of Arab States, primarily Department of Arab Economic Integration to strengthen their technical capacity, management and institution building. That forms part of the platform of trade policy reform and design of the framework of partnership among Arab countries in the integration as an intermediate step towards establishment of Arab Customs Union (ACU).
UNDP supports Arab countries in raising more awareness to be achieved through trade policy reform in the Arab States as an integral part of the regional trade and economic integration agenda. Moreover, the technical team collaborates closely with a number of Arab countries in the development of trade-related platforms in response to needs and priorities of its socio-economic programs, such as strategic planning and design of National Single Window (NSW).
UNDP supports strengthening institutions for Economic Sector of LAS that are in charge of economic integration, and building the capacity of human resources and putting into place adequate institutions and working mechanisms. Important results were achieved in modernization of economic/trade policies to deepen Arab economic integration in key areas, including trade in services, competition policies, and dispute settlement, among others. Significant improvement in institutional arrangements of the AEID, Economic Sector of LAS has been made with introduction of the Manual of Procedures, accompanied by the organizational restructuring.
UNDP also contributed substantially to the preparatory works for the establishment of the Arab Customs Union (ACU) through preparation of the key policy papers on the necessary institutional arrangements for the ACU, delivery of trainings on Customs Union, and establishment of national teams responsible for matters related to the ACU.
Key policy papers and plan of mobilization of expertise for the ACU were adopted. The new approach of developing technical works as part of preparations for the ACU was highly acknowledged by Arab countries.
- Enhancement of capacity of Economic Sector of the LAS in trade policy reform and monitoring of implementation progress of GAFTA enhanced in support of implementation of measures under decisions by the 2015 Arab Economic and Social Development Summit.
- Undertaking preparatory works for establishment of the Arab Customs Union.
- Structural enhancement of the trade policy framework of deepened economic integration at regional level.
- Promotion of strategy dialogues and consultations among trade policy makers for Arab economic integration.
- Enhanced capabilities of the coordinator of programs of economic integration – the AEID, Economic Sector of the LAS in technical, managerial and strategic planning areas.
- Contribution of technical analysis and recommendations to programs of economic/export diversification being considered by target Arab countries.
List of deliverables:
- Deliverable 1: Implemented the Manual of Procedures for the AEID, Economic Sector of LAS.
- Deliverable 2: Designed and getting adopted the Annual Work Plan of 2015 of the AEID, Economic Sector of LAS. AEID is the only Department having defined clearly the result-oriented work plan at the LAS up to November 2015.
- Deliverable 3: Provided technical advices and inputs to preparatory works for Arab Customs Union for decisions by Arab Leaders.
- Deliverable 4: Successfully completed the Survey of Trade Facilitation Practices from perspectives by the private sector.
- Deliverable 5: Adopted the standard composition of the national teams for Arab Customs Union (ACU): the standard template of composition of expertise of national teams of Member States in charge of establishment of the ACU was produced, presented to ECOSOC and adopted as the guidelines for concerned works at the national level.
- Deliverable 6: Completed and adopted the Unified National Report to document progress of implementation of GAFTA, approved by ECOSOC for implementation. Three Arab countries started use of the template in 2015.
- Deliverable 7: Conducted two trainings on the Arab Customs Union in collaboration with two UN Agencies for Arab countries, League of Arab States and Arab Maghreb Union.
- Deliverable 8: Designed and presented technical proposals on trade in services, trade remedies, and competition (i.e… anti-trust) to technical committees of Arab States. Draft Guidelines of Competition were prepared in close collaboration with Egypt and Tunisia. Works on consumer protection have also started.
- Deliverable 9: Proposal of audit survey in trade in services has been accepted by Arab States.