Government of the Republic of Fiji
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
A Better Fiji through Excellence in Foreign Service
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore in collaboration with the World Trade Organization [WTO] convened the Advanced Regional Workshop on Trade in Services from 8 to 11 February 2011 for the Asia Pacific Region. The Workshop was a partnership initiative under the Singapore – WTO Third Country Training Programme. A total of 31 countries from the Asia Pacific Region participated in the workshop, including Fiji. The Government of Fiji was represented by Mr. Shaheen Ali – Deputy Secretary, Economics & Trade and Ms. Azreen Khan – Administrative Officer, Economics & Trade from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation.
The Advanced Workshop was moderated by the senior staff from the WTO Secretariat and experts from the National University of Singapore and the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations. The Workshop delivered detailed and in-depth syllabus pertaining to Trade in Services. Amongst others, the Workshop covered the policy and regulatory aspects of trade in services, the general overarching framework of services at the multilateral level, that is, the General Agreement on Trade in Services and the state of play of the negotiations amongst the developed and developing countries in the current Doha Development Rounds of the WTO.
The WTO Trade in Services Workshop has been timely and beneficial to Fiji in terms of capacity building for Senior Officials who are at present and in future will be participating in Trade in Services Negotiations in key regional trade agreements such as Pacific Islands Countries Trade Agreement (PICTA), the Melanesian Spearhead Group Trade Agreement and Pacific-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), in addition to participating in the multilateral negotiations of the WTO.
The Workshop underscored the growing importance of the services sector to countries such as Fiji, Singapore and the rest of the world, in most cases constituting more the 50% of the GDP. The objective of the Workshop was to arm negotiators and trade officials from developing countries in Asia Pacific with the necessary skills and knowledge, which was essential in fostering an open and transparent environment conducive to services trade that will in turn drive growth and development in the region.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Fiji conveys its sincere gratitude to the organizers, in particular, the Government of Singapore and the WTO Secretariat for providing Fiji with the opportunity to participate in this vital Services Workshop.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs P. O. Box 2220 Government Buildings Suva, Fiji