Timeline: 2016 – 2018
Donors: Australia (DFAT)
Beneficiary: Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar
In 2016/2017 IDEAS Centre has implemented a DFAT-funded project to support Cambodia, Lao PDR and Myanmar participation in trade negotiations and trade liberalization in a pragmatic, evidence-based and proactive way, grounded on their needs and in the context of the changing world economy of the 21st century.
The main objective of the assistance was to raise awareness and build capacities of the three ASEAN LDCs’ governments, private sector and other key stakeholders on key trade issues in multilateral and regional trade negotiations, including new and emerging topics. The project focused on 4 common priority topics for the three beneficiary countries. The support covered raising understanding on what these negotiating issues mean, as well as analysis of their situation and how they are impacted with advice on common approach in negotiations to advance their development interests. The project assisted the three countries in shaping a common position to better defend their interests.
“The project focused on 4 common priority topics for the three beneficiary countries.”
Scope of assistance
The assistance to the three ASEAN LDCs included action-oriented research, analyses, capacity-building and strategic planning on their trade interests, as follows:
- Country-specific analyses on common trade priority areas. Issues tackled could included trade in services, agriculture and food security and e-commerce, taking into account developments in various fora of importance to them such as ITA, TISA, ASEAN, RCEP, WTO negotiations.
- Elaborating inputs for possible draft common trade negotiating strategies (for the three issues mentioned above and for the approach to plurilaterals) for the three ASEAN LDCs based on the above-mentioned analyses and discussions with the governments.
- Holding capacity-building policy and negotiation-oriented workshops in the three ASEAN LDCs to present them with the analysis and the strategies, as well as to discuss and validate the common strategies.