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The biennial Trade and Sustainable Development Symposium, organised by the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) and held alongside the WTO ministerial conference for over a decade, is the leading multi-stakeholder platform for intellectual enquiry and dialogue on sustainable development and the global trade and investment system. It acts as an inclusive platform outside of the WTO negotiating setting for sharing ideas, engaging in dialogue, and influencing trade policy negotiations. Drawing in participants from government, business and civil society, the Symposium helps to maintain and elaborate a global vision of sustainable development in trade and investment policymaking.

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Monday, December 11 • 9:00am - 10:30am
Getting the Future Africa-UK Trade Partnership Right

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The UK’s decision to exit the European Union (EU) has significant implications for Britain’s trade policy relationship with Africa. While Africa may not be a top priority for the UK trade policy post-Brexit, the strong historical links and today’s meaningful trade relationship between many African nations and the UK suggest that Africa should not be overlooked by the British government. In addition, now is the moment to establish the foundations of a strong and mutually beneficial long-term relationship.

Urgent action is required to provide continuity in the trade relationship between Africa and the UK. An immediate priority is to ensure at a minimum that existing market access is retained for all African countries following Brexit. While maintaining continuity and avoiding uncertainty is crucial, there should be an attempt to replace existing EU Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with an improved framework that addresses the divisions created by the EPA process and its various limitations. The UK’s new trade policy offers an unprecedented opportunity to introduce a more comprehensive partnership framework that is more effective in supporting Africa’s integration, industrialization and development agendas. There is a real risk of missing this opportunity if urgent action is not taken.

So what type of form would a more comprehensive and progressive Africa-UK partnership agreement take? The objective of this session is to advance understanding of the opportunities and challenges Brexit presents for African countries. In doing so policy options for effectively leveraging Brexit to support the achievement of Africa’s development and trade objectives, at the same time as delivering win-win solutions that can also facilitate the interests of the UK, will be highlighted. The session will consider issues beyond UK market access including reciprocity, rules of origin, standards, and complementary targeted capacity building.

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avatar for David Luke

David Luke

Coordinator, Africa Trade Policy Centre, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)
David Luke is Coordinator of the African Trade Policy Centre at the UN Economic Commission for Africa with the rank of a director at the Commission. He is responsible for leading ECA's research, policy advisory services, training and capacity development on inclusive trade polici... Read More →

avatar for Chiedu Osakwe (Ambassador)

Chiedu Osakwe (Ambassador)

Director General and Chief Negotiator, Nigerian Office for Trade Negotiations (NOTN)
His Excellency, Ambassador Chiedu Osakwe is the Chief Trade Negotiator for Nigeria and the Director-General of the Nigerian Office for Trade Negotiations. He is the Chairman of the Negotiating Forum for the Continental Free Trade Area Negotiations and its Technical Working Group... Read More →

Hon Amelia Kyambadde

Trade Minister, Uganda
avatar for Dr. Maximiliano Mendez-Parra

Dr. Maximiliano Mendez-Parra

International Economic Development Group, Overseas Development Institute
Maximiliano Mendez-Parra is a Senior Research Fellow at the International Economic Development Group, Overseas Development Institute. Max is a trade economist and former trade official in Argentina. He specialises in the analysis of multilateral and regional trade policies in agr... Read More →
avatar for Brendan Vickers

Brendan Vickers

Economic Adviser, International Trade, The Commonwealth Secretariat
Dr Brendan Vickers is Economic Adviser in the Trade, Oceans, and Natural Resources Directorate at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London. Previously, he was Head of Research and Policy in the South African Department of Trade and Industry. He also worked in the non-governmental s... Read More →

Monday December 11, 2017 9:00am - 10:30am
Breakout Room 2 - Sarmiento

Attendees (43)