IDEAS Centre’s assistance in multilateral trade negotiations focuses on several components:
- Trade policy advice in the negotiations where activities include: proposal of submissions, analyses of situation, specific issues and counterparts’ positions, elbaoration of negotiating strategy and tactics, consultations with stakeholders, inputs for key meetings, questions and answers, stocktaking and summary of situation for negotiators…
- Informal consultations with stakeholders including trade partners, WTO Secretariat, other key Members, other coalitions…
- Capacity-building (learning-by-doing approach, workshops, seminars…)
- Training activities (1-6 months internships for civil servants at IDEAS Centre, workshops…)
- Awareness-raising and information dissemination (distribution of newsletters, analytical papers and other trade and development related publications).
- The Cotton Project: cotton was not included in the initial Doha talks when the latter was launched in 2001. It became part of the negotiating texts until Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali (the C4) tabled their cotton initiative in 2003. IDEAS Centre largely contributed to identify cotton as an issue for the C4 through discussions with high-level stakeholders in the capital and in Geneva. It supported them in preparing the initial cotton submission that was the starting point of the cotton adventure at the WTO. More information on the cotton projects.
- The LDC accession project: in 2008 already, IDEAS Centre flagged LDCs’ accession as a serious issue to the WTO. It informally held working groups with Geneva-based ambassadors on the issue in 2009 and 2010 and played a part in placing this topic on the agenda of the Eighth Ministerial Conference of the WTO in 2011. It also contributed to the July 2012 WTO decision on LDCs accession. More information on the accession project.
- The LDC coordination MC9 project: IDEAS Centre has provided the LDC Group with analyses of and proposals for the various development/LDC themes of the package under negotiations for the Bali Ministerial, including on trade facilitation, services waiver or DFQF. IDEAS Centre publishes regular LDCs newsletters in English and French as well as analytical papers to a large audience. More information on the LDC coordination project.