Project Title

SOM Dialogue on Regional Trade Agreements and Free Trade Agreements (RTAs/FTAs) 

Project Year

2016   

Project Number

CTI 01 2016A 

Project Session

Session 1   

Project Type

Standard 

Project Status

Completed Project   
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Project No.

CTI 01 2016A 

Project Title

SOM Dialogue on Regional Trade Agreements and Free Trade Agreements (RTAs/FTAs) 

Project Status

Completed Project 

Publication (if any)

 

Fund Account

APEC Support Fund 

Sub-fund

ASF: Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific and Global Value Chains (FTAAP and GVCs) 

Project Year

2016 

Project Session

Session 1 

APEC Funding

105,620 

Co-funding Amount

4,500 

Total Project Value

110,120 

Sponsoring Forum

Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI) 

Topics

Trade Facilitation 

Committee

Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI) 

Other Fora Involved

 

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

 

Proposing Economy(ies)

Peru 

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Australia; Chile; Indonesia; Japan; Korea; Malaysia; New Zealand; Philippines; Russia; Singapore; Chinese Taipei; Viet Nam 

Expected Start Date

01/02/2016 

Expected Completion Date

31/12/2016 

Project Proponent Name 1

Hector Zevallos 

Job Title 1

APEC CTI Coordinator 

Organization 1

Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism 

Postal Address 1

Calle Uno Oeste S/N, Corpac, San Isidro, Lima, Peru 

Telephone 1

51-5136100 Extension 1251 

Fax 1

Not Applicable 

Email 1

hzevallos@mincetur.gob 

Project Proponent Name 2

Not Applicable 

Job Title 2

Not Applicable 

Organization 2

Not Applicable 

Postal Address 2

Not Applicable 

Telephone 2

Not Applicable 

Fax 2

Not Applicable 

Email 2

Not Applicable 

Declaration

Hector Zevallos 

Project Summary

APEC economies agreed in 2014 to the establishment of an information sharing mechanism on FTAs/RTAs.  The information sharing mechanism will provide an intellectual and policy foundation in support of the realization of a comprehensive and high-quality FTAAP. This proposal is for funding to organise the SOM Dialogue on RTAs/FTAs in the margins of SOM III in Peru. It will involve APEC Senior Officials, negotiators, academics and other stakeholders to share their views on the possible options and approaches for enhancing regional economic integration through high-quality RTAs/FTAs. Furthermore, it will discuss the similarities and differences among the RTAs/FTAs in the APEC region and possible ways to address and examine the possible development of an FTAAP. The dialogue also aims to identify best practices on RTA/FTA utilisation in order to improve the benefits related to trade liberalisation.  A report on the dialogue outcomes will be prepared and submitted to SOM and the APEC Secretariat.

Relevance

MRT and AMM Ministers welcomed in 2014 the establishment of an APEC Information Sharing Mechanism on RTAs/FTAs aspiring to enhance transparency among regional RTAs/FTAs. Such efforts will contribute collectively to APEC’s commitment to support, in a comprehensive and systematic manner, realizing an FTAAP as well as encourage Senior Officials to consider how these RTAs/FTAs could contribute as possible pathways of an FTAAP. One of the activities under the said mechanism is hold an annual SOM dialogue highlighting trends and patterns in regional FTAs/RTAs, key WTO-plus elements and treatment of newer issues.

Objectives

General:

·  In accordance with the Beijing Roadmap, to increase the transparency of existing and recently concluded RTAs/FTAs, in support of an eventual realization of FTAAP.

Specific:

·  To share innovations, trends and developments in provisions and outcomes of recent RTA/FTAs, focusing on WTO-plus issues and/or areas of difficulty or sectors where impediments remain

·  To discuss the similarities and differences among the RTAs/FTAs in the APEC region – especially on non-tariff measures and in non-good areas

·  Highlight areas where action/capacity-building could be undertaken to encourage better FTA/RTA practice and approaches (including through the REI-CBNI initiative)

.  To discuss and identify best practices regarding FTAs/RTAs utilisation in order to improve the benefits related to trade liberalisation

Alignment

Promoting regional economic integration is a key priority of APEC. The SOM policy dialogue will implement APEC Leaders and Ministers’ instructions in 2014 to enhance transparency among regional RTAs/FTAs and to share and assess information on WTO-plus elements of RTAs/FTAs in order to strengthen and deepen regional economic integration and facilitate the realization of the Free Trade Agreement of the Asia-Pacific (APEC 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015).

The project falls under the workplan of the CTI Friends of the Chair Group on Strengthening REI and Advancing FTAAP which coordinates and advances APEC work on enhancing transparency among regional RTAs/FTAs, and other areas.  A SOM Dialogue on RTAs/FTAs is one of the activities under the APEC Information Sharing Mechanism on RTAs/FTAs.

TILF/ASF Justification

Project applies to ASF – FTAAP & GVC Sub-fund. The Dialogue seeks to increase the transparency of existing and recently concluded RTAs/FTAs, in support of an eventual realization of FTAAP. This will benefit developing economies in order to advance towards their regional integration. In particular, eeveloping economies will be able to discuss about possible chapters/topics to be reinforced and new topics that should be covered for RTAs/FTAs negotiations, learn about best practices for improving FTAs/RTAs utilization, in particular SMEs; among others issues.

Furthermore, the project complies with the objective of the sub-fund as a tool towards FTAAP.

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Outputs: A SOM Dialogue will be held which will tackle the transparency of existing and recently concluded RTAs/FTAs, in support of an eventual realization of FTAAP.

An Agenda of the SOM Dialogue will be proposed and circulated to economies for comments and endorsement. This agenda will be in accordance with the objectives mentioned in section A.2.

A summary report on the results will be prepared, based on the discussions during the dialogue, to be presented at CSOM. The report will include the results of an evaluation which will be prepared and distributed to all participants, speakers, moderators and experts to assess the effectiveness of the dialogue with respect to the relevance on the topics, presentations by speakers, overall impact and suggestions for further activities or topics for the SOM Dialogue on RTAs/FTAs. The comments will be compiled and reflected in the report. Furthermore, the report will include a summary of presentations and the salient recommendations resulting of the Dialogue.

Outcomes: Based on the presentations, discussions and recommendations, the dialogue aims to enhance the participants’ capacity and knowledge of RTAs/FTAs, including best practices for negotiating high-quality, comprehensive agreements. Therefore, it is expected that the knowledge harnessed during the dialogue will be used by participants in their future work and negotiations. Specifically to learn how to utilize more efficiently the existing RTAs/FTAs; and to have a more proximate ground on criteria of high-quality and comprehensive agreement for the region in the future.

Beneficiaries: The SOM Dialogue will bring together APEC Senior Officials, trade policymakers and negotiators, academics, business representatives as participants and speakers.

-  The primary beneficiaries for governmental agencies will be the decision or policy makers, negotiators involved in the RTAs/FTAs negotiations, mainly from Ministries Responsible for Trade. Having more information on how RTAs/FTAs in the Asia-Pacific are taking shape, government officials and technical personnel will be better equipped to recommend more appropriate strategies or policies relevant to the negotiations, implementation and utilisation of high quality RTAs/FTAs.

-  The academic sector of renowned economics (and trade) faculties (i.e. APEC Study Center Consortium) is also expected to benefit, by acknowledging innovative ideas for studies that are of greater relevance and are aligned to government policymakers and negotiators needs.

Dissemination

The dialogue’s target audience includes: (1) government officials in charge of decision or policy making, and other negotiators involved in the RTA/FTA negotiations; (2) academic representatives to share and develop studies which will contribute to more coherent policy and rule-making; (3) business sector to provide relevant recommendations and help identify issues which APEC should focus on for more effective policies.

A printed version of the agenda will be provided to all participants. The materials (presentation slides and studies) will be made available in the APEC website to reach a wider audience. The comprehensive report on the results of the SOM Dialogue will also be prepared and reported to the Senior Officials for information and will be also circulated to the Committee of Trade and Investment (CTI).

There are no intentions to sell outputs arising from this project.

Gender

During the planning stages for the SOM Dialogue, the project organizers will constantly seek to achieve gender balance in the selection of experts and participants through encouraging both gender experts’ and participants’ to be nominated. Participants and speakers’ invitations will encourage gender balance. Other APEC developing economies will be encouraged to constantly consider gender equality throughout this project as well.

In addition, the project organizers will ensure that the evaluation forms to be distributed at the end of the dialogue will include information on gender for disaggregating of data for project assessment and will help in evaluation of specific responses of women and men.

Work Plan

As 2016 host economy, Peru will provide the venue for the dialogue and consult with the CTI Chair and member economies to prepare a draft agenda and identify possible speakers. The dialogue will be held before SOM III Plenary in Peru in the second half of 2016. A full summary report will be submitted at CSOM.

     Month/Year

                                          Activities

February – March 2016

Draft agenda and identify possible stakeholders and speakers with the assistance of the CTI. Schedule or final date of the Dialogue to be determined.

May 2016

Circulate agenda and distribute invitations to speakers.

June 2016

Finalize the agenda and distribute invitation/ administrative circular to participants.

July 2016

Finalize list of speakers. Travel and accommodation arrangements.

August 2016

Collect and consolidate presentations of speakers by early August.

August - September 2016

Hold the dialogue on the margins of SOM III in Peru.

October 2016

All administrative arrangements, including: allowance, travel fees and honorariums to be settled.

November 2016

A full summary report (which will include the results of the evaluation) will be tabled at CSOM and provided to the APEC Secretariat.

Draft Agenda has been circulated to economies for comments, it is in the process to be finalized. It has been asked to some economies and speakers regarding possible presentations in this SOM Dialogue, from which it has been received several positive responses.

Risks

One of the risks associated with the conduct of the SOM Dialogue is ensuring the selection of good speakers and their participation in the said event. The project organizers are continuously working with the co-sponsor economies to get recommendations of potential speakers and identifying possible back-up speakers in advance of the event.

Another concern is the selection of appropriate participants to the dialogue. The dialogue specifically caters to APEC Senior Officials and trade policymakers/negotiators, thus invitations will be sent out to the economies’ CTI representatives who will be responsible in informing domestic ministries/agencies of the participants’ criteria. The CTI representatives will be tasked to screen and identify the appropriate participant to the dialogue.

Monitoring and Evaluation

A summary report on the results will be prepared, based on the discussions during the dialogue, to be presented at CSOM. The report will include the results of an evaluation which will be prepared and distributed to all participants, speakers, moderators and experts to assess the effectiveness of the dialogue with respect to the relevance on the topics, presentations by speakers, overall impact and suggestions for further activities or topics for the SOM Dialogue on RTAs/FTAs. The comments will be compiled and reflected in the report. Key indicators as gender percentage of attendants, overall number of participants and economies’ representation will be also included. It is expected that officials from every APEC economy will attend.

Linkages

Information will be disseminated to all APEC fora to encourage their participation in the dialogue.  Representatives from international organizations, the academia (e.g. APEC Study Center Consortium) and business sectors (e.g. ABAC) will be invited as resource speakers of the SOM dialogue.  Peru will work closely with ASC, PECC, and ABAC for the substantive aspect of the dialogue.

In 2014, China conducted a “Dialogue on Information Sharing on RTAs/FTAs in Asia-Pacific Region” as a kick-off event of the APEC Information Sharing Mechanism on RTAs/FTAs which took note of recent developments in regional RTAs/FTAs. In 2015, Philippines led this project to focus on exploring the impact of mega-regionalism. This year the dialogue will look into another aspect of RTAs/FTAs: utilisation and convergence of RTAs/FTAs.  The project will add value to APEC’s work on regional economic integration and in the support of an eventual realization of FTAAP, so economies can work from a more knowledgeable starting point.

Sustainability

The SOM Dialogue on RTAs/FTAs will serve as an important reference on the possible options and approaches for enhancing regional economic integration through high-quality RTAs/FTAs. It will serve as a platform for participants to practice the knowledge they learned in their future work and negotiations as assessing and taking into account best practices and recommendations discussed in the SOM Dialogue towards improving RTAs/FTAs utilisation and learn about high-quality and comprehensive agreement for the region.

The SOM Dialogue on RTAs/FTAs is the third of its kind, the first two were held in Qingdao, China and Cebu, Philippines in 2014 and 2015, respectively. These dialogues are being conducted in response to the APEC Information Sharing Mechanism on RTAs/FTAs which was endorsed by Ministers also in May 2014. The outcomes of the Dialogue will be fed back to the economies. The draft agenda includes topics that are interlinked with other Beijing Roadmap pillars (CBNI and Collective Strategic Study on FTAAP). It is expected that the SOM Dialogue on RTAs/FTAs will provide synergies with these other pillars. Succeeding APEC hosts will be encouraged to host similar dialogues as well to ensure the continuity of the information sharing. Many of next APEC hosts are co-sponsors of the project and are encourage to actively participate in the Dialogue.

Project Overseers

Mr. Hector ZEVALLOS
APEC CTI Coordinator
Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism
Tel: +51-15136100Ext.1252                                                                  

E-mail:  hzevallos@mincetur.gob.pe 

Cost Efficiency

Not Applicable.

Drawdown Timetable

 

Direct Labour

Not Applicable.

Waivers

Not Applicable.

Are there any supporting document attached?

No 
Attachments
Version: 6.0 
Created at 03/08/2016 15:15  by Lucy Phua 
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Project No.

Project Title

Project Status

Publication (if any)

Fund Account

Sub-fund

Project Year

Project Session

APEC Funding

Co-funding Amount

Total Project Value

Sponsoring Forum

Topics

Committee

Other Fora Involved

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

Proposing Economy(ies)

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Expected Start Date

Expected Completion Date

Project Proponent Name 1

Job Title 1

Organization 1

Postal Address 1

Telephone 1

Fax 1

Email 1

Project Proponent Name 2

Job Title 2

Organization 2

Postal Address 2

Telephone 2

Fax 2

Email 2

Declaration

Project Summary

Relevance

Objectives

Alignment

TILF/ASF Justification

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Dissemination

Gender

Work Plan

Risks

Monitoring and Evaluation

Linkages

Sustainability

Project Overseers

Cost Efficiency

Drawdown Timetable

Direct Labour

Waivers

Are there any supporting document attached?

hdFldAdmin

Project Number

Previous Fora

Secretariat Comments

Reprogramming Notes

Consolidated QAF

Endorsement By Fora

PD Sign Off

Batch

Forum Priority

Committee Ranking Category

Committee Priority

PDM Priority

Priority Within Funding Category

Monitoring Report Received

Completion Report Received

PMU Field 1

PMU Field 2

PMU Field 3

On Behalf Of

Proposal Status

Originating Sub-Forum

Approval Status
Attachments
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