Workshop in Syria

Other Projects


Timeline: 2007

Donor: Germany (BMZ)

Beneficiary: Syria

In December 2007, IDEAS Centre was part of a team of three international and regional experts who developed, conducted and evaluated a five-day seminar as well as prepared and held a lecture and discussion at the University of Damascus. This seminar was part of a two-year InWEnt (on behalf of Germany’s BMZ) training project on trade policy and related negotiation skills to support the trade-related capacity building efforts of the Syrian government. The programme was targeting key stakeholders such as governmental officials, representatives from business associations and academia, which are driving forces behind the Syrian reform process and the integration of Syria into the world trading system.

By building up on former seminars, negotiation processes for the relevant agreements (EUROMED, GAFTA and WTO) were presented, negotiation simulations were held, and  challenges and opportunities were discussed.

  • The workshops focused on providing training on negotiations in services related to Syria’s EUROMED, GAFTA and WTO accession through empirical explanations of processes and contents of an actual negotiation, including simulations of multilateral and bilateral talks.
  • A lecture was held at the University of Damascus with a view to continuing the dialogue that had been opened by the Ministry of Economy and Trade and the Faculty of Economy on the role played by economic integration and Syria’s overall economic reform strategy.

“IDEAS Centre was part of a team of three international and regional experts who developed, conducted and evaluated a five-day seminar.”

In this project, IDEAS Centre explained the processes of the WTO accession process, the conduct of two negotiation simulations and participated in the university lecture. Specifically, topics covered and prepared by IDEAS Centre included:

  • A brief recap of the structure, scope and main definitions of the General Agreement on Trade in Services;
  • An overview of the WTO accession process and comparison of previous negotiations in services of other recently-acceded Members;
  • An overview of transport services;
  • A WTO multilateral negotiation simulation: the second Working Party of a fictitious country;
  • Participation in a lecture at the University of Damascus;
  • A simulation of bilateral WTO services accession negotiations: the delegation of the fictitious country met with the delegations of US, EC, Japan and China to discuss areas of expertise with Syrian participants;
  • Wrap-up of negotiation simulation, overall conclusions and Q&A.