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WORLD TRADE WT/COMTD/M/74
23 June 2009
ORGANIZATION
(09-3063)

Committee on Trade and Development
Seventy-Fourth Session

NOTE ON THE MEETING OF 11 MAY 2009

Chairman: H.E. Mr. Shree B.C. Servansing (Mauritius)

A. ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA ......................................................................................................... 2

B. OBSERVERS.................................................................................................................................. 2

(i) Request for attendance of ad hoc observers ............................................................................... 2
(ii) Further consideration of the requests for observer status by the League of Arab
States, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the Gulf
Organization for Industrial Consulting, the Organisation Internationale de la
Francophonie, the Common Fund for Commodities, the Organization of Arab
Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) and the Groupe de la Banque Africaine de
Développement............................................................................................................................ 2
ND
C. REPORT OF THE 42 SESSION OF THE JOINT ADVISORY GROUP ON THE
INTERNATIONAL TRADE CENTRE UNCTAD/WTO (ITC/AG(XLII)/225) ........................................... 2

D. NOTIFICATIONS UNDER THE ENABLING CLAUSE ......................................................................... 4

(i) Communications on the Generalized System of Preferences scheme of Norway
(WT/COMTD/65 and Add.1 to Add.3) ........................................................................................ 4
(ii) Generalized System of Preferences, 2009-2011 – notification by the European
Communities (WT/COMTD/N/4/Add.4)...................................................................................... 5
(iii) Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) notification of Customs Union (WT/REG222/N/1
and Corr.1, WT/COMTD/N/25, WT/COMTD/66 and Add.1 to Add.3) ...................................... 5
E. DECISION ON TRANSPARENCY FOR PREFERENTIAL TRADE ARRANGEMENTS
(WT/L/672)................................................................................................................................. 6
F. REVIEW OF STEPS TAKEN TO PROVIDE DUTY-FREE AND QUOTA-FREE MARKET ACCESS
TO LEAST-DEVELOPED COUNTRIES ............................................................................................. 7

G. TECHNICAL COOPERATION AND TRAINING .................................................................................. 8

(i) Annual Report on Technical Assistance and Training, 1 January to 31 December
2008 (WT/COMTD/W/168)......................................................................................................... 8
(ii) Technical Cooperation Audit Report for 2008 ........................................................................... 8
H. OTHER BUSINESS ......................................................................................................................... 8
WT/COMTD/M/74
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A. ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA

1. The Chairman said that the draft agenda for the 74th Session of the Committee on Trade and
Development (CTD) was contained in document WTO/AIR/3348 issued on 14 April 2009. He drew
Members' attention to the two reports concerning technical cooperation and training under agenda
item G, namely the 2008 Annual Report on Technical Assistance and Training, and the Technical
Cooperation Audit Report for 2008. He informed the Committee that the Audit Report had not been
issued yet. While the document would be issued shortly, he proposed that the Committee postpone its
discussion of both reports until the next CTD meeting. This was in light of the desirability of having
the reports considered together. There would, therefore, be no discussion under agenda item G at the
present meeting.

2. The agenda was adopted as amended.

B. OBSERVERS

(i) Request for attendance of ad hoc observers

3. The Chairman recalled that, at previous sessions of the CTD, Members had agreed to invite a
number of intergovernmental organizations on an ad hoc, meeting-by-meeting basis. These included
the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the
Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), the Inter-Arab Investment Guarantee Corporation, the
Islamic Development Bank (IDB), the African Union (AU), the Organization of the Islamic
Conference (OIC), the South Centre, the Pacific Islands Forum, the United Nations Environment
Programme (UNEP), the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) and the World
Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). He said that, following the decision taken at the previous
meeting of the Committee, the organizations had been invited to the present meeting. He proposed
that the organizations be invited to the next formal meeting of the CTD.

4. It was so agreed.

(ii) Further consideration of the requests for observer status by the League of Arab States, the
Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the Gulf Organization for
Industrial Consulting, the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, the Common
Fund for Commodities, the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC)
and the Groupe de la Banque Africaine de Développement

5. The Chairman said that at previous meetings, the Committee had had before it a number of
requests for observer status. He said that if there was no change in positions to extend observer status
to any of those applicants, then the Committee would take note and would revert to those requests at
the next meeting.

6. It was so agreed.
ND
C. REPORT OF THE 42 SESSION OF THE JOINT ADVISORY GROUP ON THE INTERNATIONAL TRADE
CENTRE UNCTAD/WTO (ITC/AG(XLII)/225)

7. The Chairman said that the report of the 42nd session of the Joint Advisory Group (JAG) on
the International Trade Centre UNCTAD/WTO (ITC) was contained in ITC document
ITC/AG(XLII)/225. He welcomed Ambassador Emina Keco-Isakovic of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
the Chairperson of the 42nd session of the JAG, and Mr. Stephen Browne, the Deputy Executive
Director of the ITC. He invited Ambassador Keco-Isakovic to introduce the report.
WT/COMTD/M/74
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8. The Chairperson of the JAG said that JAG had held its 42nd Session on 10 and
11 December 2008. The Group had been convened to discuss the ITC’s Annual Report for 2007 and
the preliminary Annual Report for 2008; the Consolidated Programme Document for 2009; the
ITC’s Strategic Plan for 2009 to 2012; and the ITC Strategic Framework. The Group had also
discussed proposals for ITC governance. In their opening statements, the Director-General of the
WTO and the Secretary General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
(UNCTAD) had expressed their full support to the ITC. They had commended the manner in which
the ITC had engaged in the Aid-for-Trade initiative, and had cited several examples of strengthened
cooperation between the WTO, UNCTAD and the ITC. In her statement to the Group, the Executive
Director of the ITC had described 2008 as a year in which the ITC had re-focused its mandate,
remodelled its technical offering around five business lines, and re-structured the organization to
reconfirm its capacity-building focus. The Executive Director had also indicated that the ITC would
scale up its global public goods in 2009 and concentrate efforts on those who needed assistance most,
particularly the LDCs. At the same time, the organization would seek to improve the impact of
existing projects and mainstream sustainable development into projects and programmes. Finally, the
Executive Director had welcomed to the meeting the winners of the 2008 World Trade Promotion
Organization Awards.

9. The JAG Chairperson continued by saying that the Group had provided the ITC with useful
guidance on the organization's annual programme of work. The Group had expressed strong support
for the ITC, and had acknowledged the impact of the organization's capacity-building work. The ITC
was recognized as a "100 per cent Aid for Trade" organization, and its role in helping the private
sector was re-affirmed. The Group endorsed the Consolidated Programme Document for 2009, the
Strategic Plan for 2009 to 2012 and the Strategic Framework. On governance, it had been decided
that the Consultative Committee would remain the oversight body for voluntary contributions to the
ITC Trust Fund, while the JAG would remain the policy-making organ of the ITC.

10. She informed the Committee that a panel on Trade for the Millennium Development Goals
had additionally been convened to examine issues of poverty, gender and environment as they relate
to trade. By showing the diversity of actors and their specific needs and expectations for trade-related
technical assistance along the different stages of the export value chain, the panel and the subsequent
break-out sessions had demonstrated the ITC’s approach to "Export Impact for Good". Finally, she
mentioned that government representatives had announced voluntary contributions to the ITC. In this
regard, she thanked China, Denmark, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway,
Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

11. The representative of Mexico referred to the discussions that had taken place on the
establishment of an Advisory Board for the ITC. She said that while Mexico had sent in a proposal
within the stipulated deadline regarding the composition of the Board, the proposal did not appear to
have been appropriately reflected in the report. Mexico had subsequently sent in other
communications on the same matter. She inquired whether Mexico's proposal would be given due
attention.

12. The Deputy Executive Director of the ITC said that the JAG report was structured to reflect
consensus. There was, therefore, little reference to the interventions or positions of individual
delegations. Some exceptions were, however, made. In this regard, he pointed to the section in the
report concerning governance, where the proposal by Mexico had been referred to. He said that the
ITC had responded to Mexico verbally and in writing. While it had not been possible to agree on an
alternative governance structure at the JAG meeting, he indicated that informal discussions could
continue on this matter between JAG sessions. Finally, he said that those statements made at the JAG
meeting which had been sent to the ITC had been put on the organization's website.
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13. The Committee took note of the report of the 42nd Session of the JAG and forwarded it to the
General Council for adoption.

D. NOTIFICATIONS UNDER THE ENABLING CLAUSE

14. The Chairman said that he wished to provide Members with an update on the regional trade
agreements (RTAs) notified under the Enabling Clause that were to be considered in the CTD's
Dedicated Sessions on RTAs. The Pakistan-Sri Lanka Agreement would be considered at the CTD's
2nd Dedicated Session, which was scheduled to be held back-to-back with the July 2009 Regular
Session of the CTD. The Factual Presentation on the Pakistan-Sri Lanka Agreement had been
circulated as document WT/COMTD/RTA/2/1 on 21 April 2009. In a fax dated 22 April, Members
had been invited to submit to the Secretariat any written questions on the Agreement by 19 May –
within a four-week period. The Pakistan-Malaysia Agreement would be considered at the 3rd
Dedicated Session in September 2009. This Dedicated Session would be held back-to-back with a
meeting of the Committee on Regional Trade Agreements (CRTA). With regard to the preparation of
the Factual Presentation on the Pakistan-Malaysia Agreement, he said that the Secretariat had sent out
the draft Factual Presentation to the Parties on 20 April, for comments by 18 May. As there were still
many remaining questions in the draft, including gaps in data, he urged the Parties to meet this
deadline for comment so that the Factual Presentation could be circulated by 6 July at the latest. The
Chile-India Agreement was to be considered at the CTD's 4th Dedicated Session, which was
tentatively scheduled to be held back-to-back with the last Regular CTD meeting of 2009. The
Secretariat was currently waiting to receive the necessary data from the Parties, which was expected
to be provided by 4 June at the latest.

15. He also recalled that the Committee had agreed at its last meeting to consider RTAs involving
non-WTO Members using the same procedures used by the CRTA, which were based on the
provisions of the Transparency Mechanism (TM) for RTAs. He said that there were three RTAs
involving non-WTO Members that had already been notified under the Enabling Clause and that
would need to be considered using these procedures. These were the South Asian Free Trade
Agreement (SAFTA), the India-Bhutan Agreement and the Pacific Island Countries Trade Agreement
(PICTA). With regard to the consideration of these Agreements in the CTD, he informed the
Committee that letters had been sent out to all the Parties involved, requesting data by
10 August 2009. It was envisaged that the three Agreements could be considered in a Dedicated
Session of the CTD in May 2010. He indicated that further updates on RTAs to be considered in
Dedicated Sessions of the CTD would be provided to the Committee as necessary.

(i) Communications on the Generalized System of Preferences scheme of Norway
(WT/COMTD/65 and Add.1 to Add.3)

16. The Chairman recalled that Norway had made a notification at the 69th Session of the CTD
concerning its Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) scheme. Two sets of questions from Brazil
on the scheme had been circulated in documents WT/COMTD/65 and WT/COMTD/65/Add.2.
Responses to Brazil's questions were circulated by Norway in documents WT/COMTD/65/Add.1 and
Add.3. It had been agreed at the last CTD meeting that this item would remain on the agenda for the
present meeting.

17. The representative of Brazil said that his delegation had been engaging in bilateral
consultations with Norway on this matter, in the context of which a frank and valuable exchange had
taken place. The information provided by Norway had been submitted to his capital. In this regard,
he indicated that his delegation would appreciate having the opportunity to present to the Committee
its conclusions once a final analysis was completed.
WT/COMTD/M/74
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18. The Chairman proposed that the Committee take note of the intervention by Brazil. This item
would remain on the agenda for the next CTD meeting.

19. It was so agreed.

(ii) Generalized System of Preferences, 2009-2011 – notification by the European Communities
(WT/COMTD/N/4/Add.4)

20. The Chairman recalled that the EC had notified its GSP scheme for the years 2009 to 2011 at
the last meeting. The notification could be found in document WT/COMTD/N/4/Add.4. It had been
agreed that this item would remain on the agenda for the present meeting.

21. No Member took the floor under this item.

22. The Committee took note of the EC's notification of its GSP scheme for the years 2009
to 2011.

(iii) Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) notification of Customs Union (WT/REG222/N/1 and Corr.1,
WT/COMTD/N/25, WT/COMTD/66 and Add.1 to Add.3)

23. The Chairman recalled that this item had appeared on the agenda of the last CTD meeting. It
had been agreed that the item would remain on the agenda for the present meeting. He said that he
had held a brief informal meeting with some Members after the last CTD meeting. He had been
informed that consultations between the concerned delegations were taking place.

24. The representative of Oman, on behalf of the GCC countries, said that this issue had been the
subject of extended discussion in both the CTD and the CRTA. The GCC wished to respond to some
of the points that had been raised. He said that the TM for RTAs provided clearly that it was the right
of the Parties to an RTA to determine the basis for notification. He recalled in particular paragraph 4
of the TM, which stipulated that, in notifying their RTA, the Parties would specify under which
provision or provisions of the WTO agreements it was being notified. The GCC welcomed the US'
recognition at the last CTD meeting that agreements entered into under paragraph 2(c) of the Enabling
Clause could be notified to the CTD. The GCC, of course, fully agreed. The US had also stated that
notifying an agreement to the CTD was appropriate only where the agreement could reasonably be
said to qualify as an Enabling Clause agreement. The GCC countries similarly welcomed this
statement, as their customs union did indeed qualify as an Enabling Clause agreement, for reasons
discussed at length during prior meetings.

25. He said that the GCC countries had not broken their tariff bindings under GATT Article II, as
had been alleged by some Members. The relevant authorities had checked the accuracy of the data
provided and had found out that the GCC countries were not in violation of their WTO tariff binding
schedules. He noted that the GCC Customs Union had been notified to the CTD under the Enabling
Clause and that, under the TM for RTAs, the CTD should fulfil its mandate to examine an agreement
that had been duly notified to it. The Factual Presentation necessary for the review of the GCC
Customs Union needed to be prepared. He informed Members that the GCC had held informal
bilateral consultations with the EC and the US and was still considering their proposal along with
other available options. The GCC hoped to hold further consultations with interested delegations soon
in order to reach a satisfactory solution. He indicated that this item should remain on the CTD's
agenda until an acceptable solution was found.

26. The representative of the United States, recalling previous discussions in the CTD and in the
CRTA, said that her delegation remained concerned about Saudi Arabia’s notification of the GCC
Customs Union under the Enabling Clause. The United States had made very clear that it had no
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quarrel with any developing country notifying a qualifying agreement under the Enabling Clause.
However, unless and until Members prescribed criteria for the elimination of non-tariff measures
under paragraph 2(c) of the Enabling Clause, GATT Article XXIV provided the only avenue for
notifying and examining any customs union. The notification and examination of customs unions was
specifically provided for in Article XXIV. She said that her delegation had had some constructive,
preliminary, bilateral consultations with the GCC countries on this issue, and was currently awaiting a
response from the GCC on a proposal that had been discussed. The US looked forward to this issue
being resolved as soon as possible.

27. The representative of Qatar supported the intervention by Oman. He said that the GCC
countries had not broken their tariff bindings under GATT Article II, as had been alleged by some
Members. The GCC Customs Union qualified squarely as an Enabling Clause agreement.

28. The representative of Saudi Arabia associated his delegation with the intervention by Oman.
He emphasized that Saudi Arabia was in full compliance with its WTO commitments concerning its
tariff bindings. He also noted that the GCC countries had been holding consultations with the EC and
the US. The GCC intended to continue discussing all viable proposals with interested delegations
until an acceptable solution could be found which would allow the preparation of the Factual
Presentation on the GCC Customs Union and the review of the agreement by Members.

29. The representative of Bahrain expressed his support for the intervention by Oman.

30. The representative of Egypt said that his delegation understood that some customs unions had
been previously notified under the Enabling Clause. He observed that it would be useful if the
Secretariat could provide relevant information on these customs unions.

31. The representative of the European Communities said that his delegation looked forward to
continuing the informal discussions on this matter.

32. The representative of Jordan supported the intervention by Oman. He expressed his hope that
an acceptable solution could be found soon.

33. The representative of Nigeria noted that consultations between the concerned delegations
were taking place. He looked forward to an early resolution of the matter.

34. The representative of Kuwait associated his delegation with the intervention by Oman.

35. The Chairman proposed that the Committee take note of all interventions. He urged the
concerned delegations to continue their informal consultations with a view to finding a solution as
soon as possible. He suggested that any solution found could be discussed at the level of the
Committee. The item would, therefore, remain on the CTD's agenda.

36. It was so agreed.

E. DECISION ON TRANSPARENCY FOR PREFERENTIAL TRADE ARRANGEMENTS (WT/L/672)

37. The Chairman said that the 14 December 2006 General Council Decision on "Transparency
for Preferential Trade Arrangements" – contained in document WT/L/672 – invited the CTD to
consider transparency for preferential arrangements under paragraph 2 of the Enabling Clause – other
than RTAs – and report back within six months for appropriate action by the General Council. The
Council had since extended the deadline to its July 2009 meeting.
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38. He recalled that he had mentioned at the last CTD meeting that the proponents of a TM for
PTAs – Brazil, China, India and the US – were in the process of revising their draft proposal. He
understood in this regard that the proponents had been consulting with some delegations since the last
meeting. He said that his intention remained to call an informal, open-ended meeting to consider the
revised proposal shortly after its circulation to Members. As he had indicated earlier, he also wanted
the Secretariat's "mock" Factual Presentation of a PTA, based on the GSP scheme of the
United States, to be considered at that informal meeting. He reminded Members that he would need
to report to the General Council on this matter in July 2009, and expressed his hope that the CTD
would have come to a decision by then. He said that he would continue to work with Members, and
would also open the matter up for discussion once again at the next formal meeting of the CTD. The
item would, therefore, remain on the CTD's agenda.

39. It was so agreed.

F. REVIEW OF STEPS TAKEN TO PROVIDE DUTY-FREE AND QUOTA-FREE MARKET ACCESS TO
LEAST-DEVELOPED COUNTRIES

40. The Chairman said that an item concerning the Hong Kong Decision on duty-free and
quota-free (DFQF) market access for LDCs had been on the CTD's agenda since early 2006. Under
this item, delegations had provided information on the steps they were taking, or had already taken, to
provide DFQF market access to LDCs. Written communications by some Members had also been
considered. He recalled that the CTD had to date undertaken three of its mandated annual reviews of
the implementation of the Hong Kong Decision.

41. The representative of India recalled that Members had been informed, at an earlier meeting,
of India's announcement of its Duty Free Tariff Preference (DFTP) Scheme for LDCs on the occasion
of the India-Africa Forum Summit in New Delhi on 8 April 2008. The reason for the choice of that
forum was that 33 of the 49 LDCs were from Africa. He said that, in order to avail of the benefits
under this scheme, individual LDCs needed to submit a letter of intent to the Government of India. In
addition, the beneficiary country was required to submit a certificate of origin along with each
consignment in order to enjoy tariff preferences. He informed the Committee that as of April 2009,
16 LDCs – Benin, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Lao PDR, Madagascar,
Malawi, Mozambique, Myanmar, Rwanda, Samoa, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda – had submitted
letters of intent. Fifteen of them – excluding Sudan – had already been notified as beneficiary
countries through a customs notification issued by the Department of Revenue. However, only seven
– Benin, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Lao PDR, Malawi, Myanmar and Tanzania – had submitted details of
the agencies which would be responsible for issuing certificates of origin, as required under the
scheme. His delegation encouraged the remaining LDCs to utilize the DFTP scheme at the earliest
and to their fullest advantage.

42. The representative of the European Communities expressed appreciation for India's DFTP
scheme. He noted that the administrative procedures relating to the scheme were relatively simple,
and encouraged all LDCs to take the necessary steps to become beneficiaries.

43. The Committee took note of all interventions.
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G. TECHNICAL COOPERATION AND TRAINING

(i) Annual Report on Technical Assistance and Training, 1 January to 31 December 2008
(WT/COMTD/W/168)

(ii) Technical Cooperation Audit Report for 2008

44. As had been agreed at the beginning of the meeting, no discussion took place under this item.

H. OTHER BUSINESS

45. No matter was raised under "Other Business".

46. The meeting was adjourned.

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