NEWS & EVENTS
The Pandemic and Its Aftermath:
The Role of Trade Policy
In response to COVID-19, some countries have taken the position that they must become more self-reliant and less dependent on global value chains. In a new blog post for Tralac, TULIP Senior Advisor Patrick Low argues that trading arrangements for medical products and medicines, and agricultural and food products is going to be crucial in leavening the damage and deprivation caused by the virus.
COVID-19 and the African Continental Free Trade Area
The dire impact the COVID-19 pandemic is predicted to have on Africa is the best argument yet for the urgency and importance of the AfCFTA. Please check out TULIP's new publication for the Brookings Institute, together with Prof. Landry Signe. Full Article Link
Presentation on “Greening” Regional Trade Agreements at the OECD Joint Working Group on Trade and Environment
TULIP had the pleasure to present a report on Greening Regional Trade Agreements at the OECD Joint Working Group on Trade and Environment on 25-26 February 2020. The OECD Members provided feedback on the first draft of the report, which was well received.
The event was followed by a 2-day workshop on international trade and the circular economy, which examined the linkages of international trade and the circular economy and explored how trade and the circular economy can be mutually supportive.
Sustainable trade preferences for the 21st century: GIZ event on EU GSP Reform
The European Union’s Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) grants unilateral tariff preferences to developing and least-developed countries. This scheme is set to expire on 31 December 2023. In this context, TULIP conducted a study for GIZ, entitled “Sustainable Trade Preferences for the 21st Century”, exploring options to fine-tune the EU’s scheme to make it a more effective tool for development post-2023.
In December 2019, TULIP presented the study’s findings and recommendations during the Brussels launch of the study. The event, organized by the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ) featured presentations by Walter van Hattum, GSP Coordinator at DG Trade, and Willem van der Geest, Team Leader, Development Solutions Europe. The audience included government officials, civil society, and representatives of the private sector.
ITC Young Social Entrepreneurs Competition in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
TULIP had the privilege to be part of the jury at the 2019 Young Social Entrepreneurs Pitching Competition. This event, organized by the International Trade Centre as part of the World Export Development Forum (WEDF) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, awarded innovative business models with the best social impact and market potential.
A recycling and waste management company based in South Africa won the panel of judges over with its impact on poor people through employment creation and for presenting a business model that can easily be replicated.
This highlights the importance of entrepreneurship in the context of sustainable development, to leverage opportunities in new sectors like the circular economy. TULIP believes it is crucial to invest in innovative, bottom-up solutions to leverage opportunities in emerging economic models such as the circular economy.
Teaching a dispute-settlement
workshop in Bhutan
TULIP was proud to offer a training on dispute-settlement in Phuentsholing, a town in Southern Bhutan at the border between India and Bhutan, as part of a project organized by the International Trade Centre. The participants included government officials working in trade and customs or in areas relevant to trade, academics, and members from the private sector.
The 4-day workshop focused on dispute resolution under various international fora, including the World Trade Organization (WTO), Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs), and Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs).
While Bhutan is currently not a Member of the WTO, it is in the process of considering to re-active its WTO accession process – which it abandoned in 2007. Should Bhutan decide to re-active this process, it is critical that Bhutanese officials develop a good understanding of the rights and obligations they WTO accession provides. Bhutan, an isolated, landlocked least-developed country trading predominantly with India, must carefully balance opportunities and challenges associated with WTO accession.
The Circular Economy – What’s in it for Developing Economies?
Lunch Event at the Dutch Permanent Representation in Geneva
Modern consumption has created unsustainable levels of resource extraction and waste generation, putting high pressure on the environment and climate. The “take-make-use-dispose” pattern of production and consumption that characterizes the linear economy has resulted in an inefficient use of scare resources, harmful emissions, and the generation of large amounts of waste.
In response to these challenges, a number of (predominantly wealthy) countries have signaled an increased policy interest in transitioning to a more resource-efficient and circular economy. There is increased awareness that these developments will have implications for developing economies.TULIP presented research on the implications of the circular economy, trade and developing countries at the Permanent Mission of the Netherlands in November 2019. Participants included representatives from Finland and the Netherlands, developing and least-developed countries and international organizations, including the World Economic Forum, the World Trade Organization, and the International Labour Organization.