2nd High-Level Regional Dialogue
on WTO Accessions
for the arab region
adaptive approaches to WTO Accession amid covid-19
Virtual, 7-9 February 2022
1. The 2nd High-Level Regional Dialogue on WTO Accessions for the Arab Region (hereinafter: 2nd High-Level Dialogue), organized by the WTO Secretariat collaboration with the Arab Monetary Fund (AMF) and Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), took place virtually on Zoom from 7 to 9 February 2022. The event was attended by over 80 participants from seven Arab acceding governments and Palestine, including from Geneva and the capitals.
2. Following the interest garnered by the first High-Level Dialogue on WTO Accessions for the Arab Region, organized in November 2020 (see WC/ACC/39), the 2nd High-Level Dialogue sought to maintain the engagement and momentum in the region regarding WTO accession by acting as a platform for open communication on the benefits of accession and how to address the challenges that come with it.
3. To this end, six sessions were organized across three days, with a thematic focus on "Adaptive Approaches to WTO Accession amid COVID-19". Sessions included: (1) a high-level opening, (2) a roundtable discussion on the challenges and opportunities generated by WTO accession, (3) the potential for trade in services in the region, (4) the role of the private sector in WTO accession, (5) trade facilitation amid and beyond COVID-19, and (6) Trade for Peace through WTO accession. The full programme can be found annexed to this document.
4. These sessions allowed for an open and interactive dialogue across the three days that reflected greater enthusiasm and participation relative to the first High-Level Dialogue. The ensuing open discussions with participants illustrated the interest they had in WTO accession, as evidenced by the large number of questions after each session and the discussions that they generated.