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Panel Discussion: The future international agenda on non-tariff measures (NTMs), followed by an information session on the UN Forum on (Private) Sustainability
25 Apr 2012
12:00 - 14:00
Lunch Time Events

Key Issues

Policymakers are confronted with an increasingly challenging and multifaceted trade agenda.  Market access issues are shifting from traditional trade policies dominated by tariffs to non-tariff policies and measures, especially to those applied in an arbitrary and discriminatory manner (i.e. non-tariff barriers).
Measures such as product standards, technical regulations, conformity assessment systems, complex rules of origin, sanitary and phytosanitary regulations, subsidies, as well as complex border and behind-the-border procedures are of particular concern to developing countries, especially for poorer countries and smaller economies whose producers are often ill-equipped to deal with them.
Part of the problem of the weak integration of the poorest developing countries in the global economy is that the international trade may be evolving toward a system less favourable for them.
Purpose of the event 
  • Exchange views on the growing effects of non-tariff measures (NTMs) on international trade, particularly that of developing countries, and identify elements of an integrated international agenda to effectively deal with them.
  • Discuss the needs and actions for better data on non-traditional instruments of trade policy, including NTMs.
  • Re-launch of the Transparency in Trade programme (implemented by UNCTAD jointly with the World Bank, African Development Bank and ITC).
  • This event is targeted to trade policymakers (UNCTAD member States), trade promotion bodies, international organizations (United Nations Regional Commissions, WTO, OECD, IDB, World Bank, ITC), regional integration groupings, and relevant non-governmental organizations.

Expected outcome / Deliverables 

Increase awareness among member States and other stakeholders of the growing importance of NTMs in the current international trade and trading system.

  • Contribute to a better understanding among member States in formulating practical responses to confront non-tariff measures, particularly those affecting developing countries’ trade.
  • Mobilize additional resources to contribute to the TNT initiative.
Victor Ognivtsev  
Tel: +4122 917 5865   
Fax: +4122 917 0044    
Alessandro Nicita                               
Tel: +4122 917 5685     
Fax: +4122  917  0044



Mr. Supachai Panitchpakdi, Secretary-General of UNCTAD
Mrs. Patricia Francis, Executive Director, International Trade Centre (ITC)

Moderator:  Mr. Guillermo Valles, Director, Division on International Trade in Goods and Services, and Commodities, UNCTAD

  • Mr. Alan V. Deardoff, Professor, University of Michigan
  • Mr. Anders Aeroe, Director, Division of Market Development, ITC
  • Mr. Bernard Hoekman, Director, International Trade Department, World Bank