Free Trade Area of the Americas - FTAA


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FTAA.sme/w/02/Rev. 7
July 20, 2001

Original: English – Spanish




Prepared by the Tripartite Committee for the Consultative Group on Smaller Economiesat the request of the FTAA Working Group on Smaller Economies

At the final meeting of the FTAA Working Group on Smaller Economies, held in Mexico City, on 14-16 October, 1997, all participants "stressed the critical role of technical assistance in the FTAA process and highlighted the importance of training on multilateral and regional trade issues. They agreed on the need to identify the specific requirements of the FTAA participants in this area and agreed to prepare an inventory of technical assistance needs."[1] The Working Group approved a questionnaire, and requested interested countries to complete this questionnaire and submit their responses to the Tripartite Committee.

At their first meeting in Buenos Aires in June 1998, the TNC created a Consultative Group on Smaller Economies and set out a work program that includes:

3. Gather information regarding technical assistance related to FTAA issues and available to FTAA countries, as well as review the specific needs identifies by countries, in particular, those identified in response to the questionnaire developed by the former Working Group on Smaller Economies.

As of October 25, 2000, Seventeen (17) countries have submitted responses to the Technical Cooperation Needs Assessment for Smaller Economies.

What follows is a compilation of the responses to this questionnaire. The questionnaire is attached as an annex. The responses are set out in matrix form. The first column lists general categories of technical assistance that are based upon the responses to the questionnaire. A second column shows the number of countries indicating a need for technical cooperation in each area, and a third column contains some representative methods of delivery of such assistance suggested by countries in their responses.

Technical Cooperation Needs Assessment: Responses
Type of Assistance No. of countries Preferred delivery suggestions
Assistance in Evaluation
Assessment of Trade Obligations 1 • National seminars and workshops
• Consultants
• Visits by technical team
Identification of technical assistance needs 4
Coordination of technical-assistance-related material and assistance in applying 2
Increasing Human Resource and Administrative Capacity
Training of Personnel, general 10 • Workshops (national and regional)
• Seminars
• Training courses–general negotiating issues and on specific issues
• Work attachments in developed country Trade Policy body
Training in negotiating techniques/ Increasing negotiating capacity 8
Training in specific areas:  
• all FTAA issues 4
• Rules of Origin 2
• Customs valuation 1
• Safeguards 2
• Standards 2
• Sanitary/Phytosanitary 3
• IPR 2
Training in enforcement mechanisms 2  
Training on how to conduct impact studies 2
Institutional Reform
Development of administrative infrastructure and capacity  
Legal and juridical institution building; judicial reform 7
Institution building 4
WTO Commitments
Understanding WTO Commitments 4 • Regional seminars
• Workshops
• Training courses
• Attachments to WTO or developed country ministry
Use of Integrated Data Base (IDB) 1
Implementation of WTO Agreements 8
Information and Communications Technology
Computer hardware 2 • Provision of equipment
• Provision of software
• Instruction in use of technology
• Seminars
• Instruction in database creation
• Development of information-sharing systems
• Provision and updating of data
Online and computer-based communications services (Internet, email, etc) 10
Database capabilities 6
Increased access to data/more trade data 7
Mechanisms for communication of information 6
Office Support 2
Assessment of Impact on Economies
Impact studies (general) 7 • Consulting
• Training
• Commission of studies
Impact studies (sectoral) 3
Studies to determine negotiating position 4
Technical cooperation for small and medium sized firms 1


FTAA Negotiating Issues
Type of Assistance No. of countries Preferred delivery suggestions
Market Access
General market access 5  
Rules of origin 6
Customs 4
Standards and technical barriers to trade 8
Safeguards 4
Agriculture 7  
Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures 6
Subsidies, Antidumping 7  
Competition Policy 3  
Investment 4  
General 7  
Financial services 1
Intellectual Property Rights 10  
Government Procurement 3  
Textiles 2  
Trade – related issues
E-Commerce 1  
Environment 1  
Labor 1  
Small and Medium Sized Businesses 1  



Breakdown by Country
Country Background: Past and Current activities Technical Assistance Needs Preferred Delivery Method
Antigua & Barbuda   • Assessment of trade obligations
• Training of personnel (Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Consumer Affairs)
• On-line and computer-based services
• Database support for collection of trade statistics
Bahamas FTAA seminars and workshops
• Assisted national working groups in understanding the importance and substance of the proposed FTAA and WTO agreements and the nature of obligations.
• Informed national working groups and the private sector about the FTAA and its potential implications.
• National level Spanish language development courses.
• Spanish instructor was hired specifically to develop the language skills of FTAA representatives.
• Assistance to coordinate material provided by FTAA / WTO secretariat and to identify and apply for FTAA / WTO-related technical assistance available.
• Assistance for officials in assembling data and preparing reports and other documentation on trade developments including FTAA / WTO.
• Access to information systems, develop information technology hyperlinks to allow access to online info, communication among negotiators and dissemination of information.
• Provision of technical and financial assistance to strengthen human resource capacity and legal requirements necessary to comply with and enforce regulations.
• Technical assistance to develop Spanish language skills to facilitate communication among negotiators.
• Assistance in engaging short-term consultants to assist with the national coordination of working groups.
• National seminar or workshop arranging specific needs of the Bahamas with respect to WTO implementation.
• Participation of negotiators in international trade workshops and seminars. 
• Access to scholarships for masters and doctorate degrees in law, international trade, international law and related disciplines.
• Training attachments to the FTAA secretariat and WTO in Panama and Geneva.
• Bilateral immersion Spanish programs for negotiators.
Barbados • WTO seminars and workshops • Assist national working groups in understanding the importance and substance of WTO Agreements and nature of obligations;
• Assistance to coordinate material provided by WTO and to identify and apply for WTO-related technical assistance available;
• Development of better networking framework among various government agencies and private sector;
• Assistance in revising dumping and subsidies legislation and procedures for applying provisions of Agreement;
• Assistance in applying provisions related to safeguard provisions under Agreement on Agriculture and Agreement on Safeguards and development of a system to trigger safeguards;
• Access to information and information systems;
• Develop Information technology blueprint to allow access to online info, communication among negotiators and dissemination of information.
• National seminar or workshop examining specific needs of Barbados with respect to WTO implementation
• Working/training attachments to WTO for Ministry of International Trade and business people responsible for coordinating working groups
Bolivia • Multilateral: IDB, World Bank, CAF, FONPLATA, Fondo Nordico para el Desarrollo; EU; UN: FAO, FIDA, OMS-OPS, PMA, UNDP, UNICEF
• Bilateral: Germany, Belgium, Canada, Korea, Denmark, Spain, France, Holland, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom, China, Switzerland, Sweden, USA, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela
• Monitor WTO implementation
• Services
• Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures
• Rules of Origin
• Standards and Technical Barriers to Trade
• Intellectual Property Rights
• Customs valuation
• Textiles
• Increasing negotiating capacity
• Determination of competitiveness in each area, especially in services
• Impact studies
• Impact studies oriented to need to change economic policies
• Judicial reform
• Access to information – internet, technical training
• Financing in order to be able to actively participate
• Internet connection b/n public and private groups
• Technical training for these activities
Dominica • Limited assistance through regional seminars on WTO Agreements
• CIDA/OECS Trade policy Assistance Project and ACP-EU Trade Development Project
• Mechanism to fulfill WTO obligations
• All areas, esp.
1. Agriculture
2. Sanitary/phytosanitary
3. Services
5. Antidumping
6. Safeguards
7. Competition policy.
• Analysis on costs and benefits of participating in FTAA (diagnostic of export sector)
• Improve human resource capacity
• Computer hardware and software
• Need assistance for assessing assistance needs
• Development of administrative infrastructure, human resource capacity and adequate enforcement agencies
• Regional seminars not specific to Dominica but to OECS region
El Salvador   Rules of Origin
• Legislation and rules of origin procedures.
• Theory and Application of the Custom Valuation Agreement.
• Tariff nomenclature for the classification of merchandise.
Anti-dumping, Subsidies and Countervailing Measures
• Methods for the determination of injury and threat of injury in subsidy and dumping investigations.
• Administration of investment agreements.
• Bilateral Investment Agreements.
• Certification and authentication of electronic companies.
• Application of electronic contracts.
Agricultural Negotiations
• Special safeguards
• Administration of tariff regimes.
• Internal support.
• Export subsidies, credits, and others.
• Inspection procedures, control, and sanitary and phytosanitary measures.
• Procedures for the declaration of pest-free areas.
Intellectual Property
• Intellectual property rights, copyrights, and neighboring rights.
• Intellectual property and competition policy.
Government Procurement
• Implementation and training of personnel for the compilation of government procurement figures.
• Conformity assessment.
• Mutual recognition agreements.
• Certification procedures.
Dispute Settlement
• Dispute settlement mechanism
• Training, seminars, courses
Grenada • WTO Seminar for Caribbean Developing Countries
• Seminar on Uruguay Round results
• WTO Seminar in Technical Barriers to Trade
• Policy Workshop on WTO Telecommunications Officer 
• Trade-related legislation, i.e. in agriculture, AD/CVD.
• Developing appropriate standards.
• Evaluate existing technical barriers to trade in goods and services.
• Converting quantitative restrictions to tariffs.
• Development of database and documentation Unit.
• Training of negotiators.
• Training of National Enquiry points personnel.
• Information/communication facilities; support to access internet services to facilitate communication with OECS, Caricom and FTAA secretariats.
• Attachment at trade policy unit in a developed country
• Consultant to assist in trade policy formulation and other trade-related matters
• Workshop/ seminar on techniques in conducting trade liberalization impact studies
• Acquisition of two computer system
• Seminars to coordinate OECS position within FTAA
• Visits by OECS technical team to assist in identifying institutional needs and to prepare technical briefs and papers to guide the Government in trade related policy decisions.
Guatemala • Have received training in international trade negotiations, issues relating to smaller economies. • Need more dissemination of trade information at academic and official level.
• Identify the technical cooperation needs for compliance with multilateral trade commitments.
• Need technical assistance in terms of distance communication technology implementation of laws, training of personnel
• STBT - material, institution building, training on methodology; legal and juridical institution building; adoption of laws; development of information mechanisms.
• With relation to previous technical assistance received, would like this to be more immediate and with more depth, with practical experience of other countries, as well as technological elements that can increase national capacity.
Guyana • Regional projects on agriculture to be carried out in 1998 by USAID Caribbean Economic Diversification Program - Project on Understanding the WTO SPS Agreement and Caribbean Agricultural Trade Policy Project
• IDB funding for project on implementation of ASYCUDA (UNCTAD) for last two years
• ACP-EU Trade Development Program launched Dec. 1997
• Caribbean Export Development Agency - ISO 9000 Quality Management Course in march 1996
• UNDP Project on Legal Metrology infrastructure
• Agriculture: assistance in implementation of WTO SPS Agreement: institutional development, establishment of laboratories; development of national strategies on SPS; export certification systems; training of human resources.
• Customs: GATT Valuation code; rules of origin; subsidies and anti-dumping' TRIPS; pre-shipment inspection.
• Institutional building
• Training of Negotiators
• Assistance in initiating programs in standards and to support activities such as standards formulation, promotion and implementation.

• establishment of metrology infrastructure
• strengthening of GNBS to serve as Laboratory Accreditation Agency
• equipment for import/export inspectors
• strengthen GNBS as Quality Management Registration Agency
• upgrade library to Information Center to serve as Enquiry Point
• establish testing laboratories to serve as reference laboratories
• data and information mechanism for standards

• Technical assistance projects with a national scope
• FTAA (Min of Ag): Website should be improved -- more information on the groups
• Information-sharing system such as local intranet (managed by Guyana Private Sector Center).
Haiti   Human Resources Development
• training of personnel in both private and public institutions involved specifically in negotiation of trade issues in the FTAA process;
• training in negotiating techniques in order to increase Haiti's negotiating capacity;
• training in carrying our impact studies
Institutional Reform
• Institution building to enable Haitian institutions to manage and follow-up FTAA negotiations (restructuring and strengthening Ministry of Trade and Industry)
• Increased coordinating capacity for trade-related issues and better interaction between public and private sectors institutions
• Updating the legal framework for business, taking into account WTO multilateral trade agreements.
Information and Communications Technology
• Increase Haiti's database capacity
• Provision/supply of computer hardware and software and computer-based services (Internet, email, etc.)
• Increased access to data, especially trade data
• Mechanisms for communication of information
Assessment of Impact on economies
• Impact studies (general) to assess FTAA impact on Haiti's economy
• Sectoral Impact studies
• Studies to determine Haiti's negotiation position
Honduras • UNDP: training of negotiators; customs strengthening; modernization of IP registry office; CERTEC
• Central American Development Bank: courses on Central American Integration; Institutional strengthening of Economic and Commercial Secretariat of Honduras; with ICAP, institutional strengthening of Secretariat of Trade and Tourism.
• AID: Central American course on trade agreements; export promotion; "Political Economy of Honduras in 2005" seminar; design export development strategy; seminar on trade in services; SIECA/PROALCA project on participation in FTAA; seminar on government procurement; seminar on trade remedy.
• WTO: Trade policy course; course on AD/CVD; course on services; course on ADCVD and safeguards; seminar on IPR.
• EU: Course on integration and cooperation; EUROTRADE program;
• SELA: course on multilateral trade negotiations; seminar on market access in the context of the Uruguay Round.
• Bilateral sources: Mexico (services); China; Germany; Argentina; Japan; Chile.
• Market access: assistance in understanding and implementing WTO agreements; integrated data base assistance; training in regional juridical instruments.
• Agriculture: assistance in implementation of WTO Agreement on Agriculture; training in international agricultural trade (use of internal support, etc.); human resource building for administration of WTO Agreement; impact study to determine position in future negotiations
• Textile and apparel: implementation of integration program

• Technical Barriers: technical assistance in national institution strengthening with regard to application of technical regulations norms and conformity assessment procedures; human resource training in the new issues and the implications of new models of technical regulation and norms development, conformity assessment, and metrology. Technical assistance in establishment of a national system of standardization and legislation in the food industry. This would also imply impact studies in the sectors that will be affected.

• Rules of Origin: seminars on customs procedures; institutional strengthening.
• Import licensing assistance in technical and administrative procedures to apply such measures.
• Investment: assistance in constructing a more sophisticated mechanism for gathering data; assistance in modernizing legislation.

• Intellectual Property: assistance in development of laws and support in development of national offices, including personnel training. Courses, etc. on intellectual property rights; Assistance in enforcement of IPR.

• Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures: training in the contents of WTO SPS accord; training programs in areas of animal and vegetable health and food; development of information exchange mechanism.
• AD/CVD: Training courses for government officials; case studies; familiarization of public and private with WTO provisions.
• Safeguards: personnel training in application of Central American provision; seminars and workshops on case studies of safeguard use; technical cooperation in creation of a research center on safeguard use, to be combined into a trade remedy unit.
• Government Procurement: creation of inventory on morns and procedures; creation of a regulatory office on government procurement; development of a legal framework.
• Institutional strengthening
• Human resource development and personnel training

• Institutional strengthening
• Human resource development and personnel training
• Increased access to information and assistance in creating databases
• Impact studies
• Technical cooperation for small and medium sized firms

• Human resources: courses, seminars, symposia.
• Regional or national seminars for relevant public and private sector.
• Specialized courses in specific areas.
• Exchange programs with officials in other countries
• Technical support for research studies.
• Instruction in use of new technology
• Equipment to facilitate access to information, i.e. CD-ROM, internet, etc.
Jamaica • Bilateral and multilateral trade-related assistance to agricultural and manufacturing sectors
• Current projects:

• Fisheries (Canada and Japan)
• PL480 (USA)
• Trade Promotion (Europe)

• National level: interministerial meetings to monitor implementation of WTO obligations

• Training for FTAA negotiating groups
• Access to databases with information on trade flows, trade regimes for products, incl. Market access conditions
• Market Access: Training in HS classification and R/O disciplines; customs valuation and collection
• AD/CVD: valuation of agricultural products and to determine hidden subsidies
• Negotiating techniques
• Equipment to access data is needed as well as computer consultants
• Other issues (market access, safeguards, ATBT, SPS, services and IPR mentioned)
• Training Program on customs valuation and collection
• Training on valuation of agricultural products
• Training in HS classification for invoice inspectors
• Equipment -- esp. computers
• Training in negotiating techniques
• Institution building
• Trade liberalization impact studies
• Assistance in developing information delivery systems to access data
Peru Completed projects
• CAF - Peru's new commercial insertion
• Japan -promotion of textiles and confectionery in Japanese market
• Current projects:
• Export promotion for nontraditionals (EU)
• Multilateral T.A.: in market access, agriculture, import licensing, services, TRIPS, SPS
• Institution building

• Trade liberalization impact studies
• Training of trade negotiators
• Office support

• Develop internet page with information for negotiators on each area. Include projects publications; data, etc.
• Trade Liberalization impact study for the industrial sector
• Impact study of tariff reduction on Peruvian exports.
St. Kitts and Nevis • Workshops and seminars – no current projects No national monitoring of WTO rights and obligations. • Establish a mechanism to fulfill WTO obligations
• All areas – esp SPS, TRIPS, Services, Competition Policy, Safeguards
• Cost/benefit analysis for FTAA participation
• Identification of technical assistance needs
• Human resource development
• Development of administrative infrastructure
St. Lucia • Workshop on Trade Planning & Strategic Management (OAS); workshops on WTO (WTO, Canada, TCDC); export promotion, etc. Most were regionally oriented.
• Gov of Canada Trade Policy programme for OECS
• Caribbean export programmes through Lomι
• Multilateral rights: interministerial Committee to coordinate actions related to this.
• Technical assistance needs for multi rights etc:
1. National trade and commercial policies
2. Trade related litigation
3. Service sector – policy, institutional arrangements, capacity building
4. Standards
5. Competition policy
• Training of negotiators
• institutional building
• Training with respect to impact studies
• Data to monitor and comply with agreements
• Upgrade capacity in human resource and administrative capacity
• Need to determine most effective approach for role of OECS Secretariat
• Study to examine OECS needs at national level and institutional support at subregional level.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines • OAS support for establishment of a Standards Bureau Technical assistance required in:
• Market Access
• Agriculture
• Rules (of Origin?)
• Technical Barriers to Trade
• Services
• Access to current data, information delivery systems and communication technology
• identification of technical assistance
• Establish WTO Desk
• WTO Procedures and issues
• Identifying programs
• Development of negotiating strategies
• Institutional strengthening
• Training of negotiators
• Trade liberalization impact studies
Suriname • Documentation on current trade related issues;
• Technical assistance also including seminars, trainings, workshops regarding the adjustment of legislation, for a better understanding of the issues drafting of WTC schedules; and
• Financial assistance to diversify the banana industry in Suriname
Programs in execution
• Drafting of schedules on Financial Services
• Drafting of a Safeguard legislation
• Drafting of a revised investment law  
• Material such as copy machines, computers, printers, fax machine, transportation, regular supply of documentation regarding FTAA issues
Technical Assistance in the areas of:
• Anti-dumping, rules of origin
• Antidumping, Subsidies and Countervailing Duties
Preparation for the FTAA negotiations:
• Documentation
• Institutional building
• Trade liberalization impact studies
• Provide financial means, resources for attending the meetings of the working groups
Information technology needs:
Access to current data, information delivery systems and communications to monitor and comply with multilateral obligations and to support the FTAA negotiations
• Seminars, trainings, workshops
• Financial assistance

[1] Summary of the Eight Meeting of the Working Group on Smaller Economies 14-16 October, 1997, Mexico City.

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