UNDP assisted the Economic Sector, League of Arab States (LAS) in strengthening institutional arrangements, introduction of result-based work plans and design of Operational Procedures for the Arab Economic Integration Department of LAS. Numerous policy papers on trade policy reform towards closer regional economic cooperation and requirements of Arab Customs Union (ACU) were prepared and endorsed by the senior management, including the Outlines of establishment of ACU. Several activities of capacity building were carried out for officials of LAS and representatives/trade negotiators of Arab countries.
Major focus consists of design and establishment of adequate institutional arrangements within the Economic Sector in the pursuit of better efficiency and professional services. Proposals of restructuring and a Draft Manual of Operational Procedures were prepared and adopted in principle by the Arab Economic Integration Department (AEID) of LAS. Outlines of establishment of Arab Customs Union were also endorsed with focus on having proper institutions to undertake preparatory work and design of the ACU. Trainings on trade facilitation, trade in services, economic cooperation, for more than 80 officials of the LAS and Arab countries, were delivered to support trade policy reform.
Policy recommendations in realization of GAFTA and suggestions aimed at deepening Arab Economic Integration
Introduction of effective implementation of commitments in economic integration has been identified as the key approach. UNDP promotes the collective responsibility and continuous consultations among trade policy makers and negotiators of Arab countries in function of the Arab economic cooperation.
List of Deliverables:
- Deliverable 1: Completed assessment of needs of institutional development of the AEID LAS. Designed specific measures to address needs of institutional development and those of capacity building.
- Deliverable 2: Prepared the Policy Outlines of Arab Customs Union which were adopted by LAS as a guide for further tasks.
- Deliverable 3: Conducted the training courses of Commercial Diplomacy in collaboration with UNCTAD and of Trade in Services for officials of LAS and trade negotiators of Arab countries.
- Deliverable 4: Designed a concept note on investment programs, included preparation of technical background for the OECD-led Seminar.
- Deliverable 5: Prepared the concept note on the competition as part of trade policy and deepening Arab economic integration.
- Deliverable 6: Prepared Draft Manual of Procedures and establishment of its implementation plan.
- Deliverable 7: Contributed inputs to two analytical documents on institutional development and expected impacts of a common external tariff within the Arab Customs Union.
- Deliverable 8: Enhanced the standard reporting template for the review of GAFTA implementation and concerned action plan.
- Deliverable 9: Conducted five sessions of in-house training for staffs of LAS on trade policy reform.
- Deliverable 10: Facilitated exchange of experiences on strategic planning and program design for senior officials of LAS.