Trade Policy Development > Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

FAO services relevant to this trade capacity building category are related to: (i) trade policy; (ii) country studies and (iii) diagnostics and impact studies. The common aim is to contribute to member countries’ better formulation of agricultural commodity policies and trade strategies compatible with their overall development objectives. Assistance provided in the trade negotiations arena helps countries to participate more effectively in international policy-making.

Support for the multilateral trade negotiations

By the provision of training, studies and analysis, FAO aims to help developing countries build human and institutional capacities in areas of regional and international trade policy. A key emphasis is on enabling countries to be well-informed and equal partners in regional and international trade agreements.

Trade policy is one of the chief components of countries’ overall agricultural development and food security objectives. Capacity building in trade policy (including policies shaped on the basis of trading agreements) enables countries to formulate better negotiating positions. Ex-ante and ex-post impact studies provide guidance in assessing the impact of trade policies and contribute to informed decision-making. In those contexts in which poverty and food security are important issues, the need to understand the linkages with policies, and the far-reaching consequences of reforms, requires complex analytical tools.

The organization’s services aim to tackle problems associated with the lack of resources and technical capacity that prevent developing countries from building well-founded and appropriate views and positions in regional and multilateral trade negotiations. The services also examine the relationship between international trade in fish and food security, analyzing economic and food security issues, and sustainability and resource management practices.

The services entail the provision of statistics, information and analyses on issues related to trade policy and trade negotiations. These supports are delivered through a variety of means: dissemination of publications through the Internet; email; FAO offices; the organization of subregional and regional workshops; national seminars; and round-tables in Geneva aimed at trade negotiators.

Inter-agency (UN) collaboration, mainly in the form of creating a common platform through seminars, workshops, etc., for the dissemination of analytical results, is an important component of the service.

The beneficiaries of the services include, but are not limited to, policy-makers, analysts, trade negotiators, research institutes, and the private sector and civil society in general in developing and transition countries.

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