Within the framework of the implementation of the resolutions of the 30th Session of the COMCEC, the Islamic Centre for Development of Trade (ICDT) and Islamic Development Bank (IDB) organized a workshop on “the New Generation of Free Trade Agreements and Their Impact on Intra-OIC Trade of the Arab and African Countries” in Casablanca, Kingdom of Morocco, during 4-6 May 2015.
The objective of the workshop was to study the impact of the new generation of free trade areas on intra-OIC trade and to exchange national and regional experiences within the framework of the developments of economic integration of the OIC member countries. During the meeting, the initial draft of the study on the same topic has been presented and circulated by the ICDT.
The meeting was attended by 17 OIC Member countries from the Arab and African regions; namely Bahrain, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Comoros, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sudan, Togo and Tunisia. The representatives of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Agadir Technical Unit (ATU), Arab Maghreb Union (AMU), South Centre and SESRIC also attended the meeting. SESRIC was represented by Dr. Kenan Bagci, senior researcher at the Centre, thereat. Mr. Mohamed Abbou, Minister in Charge of Foreign Trade of the Kingdom of Morocco, also participated in the opening session and delivered his opening remarks.
During the workshop, the participants discussed their views and country experiences on the classical as well as new generation free trade areas and provided some comments on the draft document prepared by the ICDT. The participants also discussed impact of mega-regional partnerships (Trans-Atlantic Trade Investment Partnership and Trans-Pacific Partnership) on OIC member countries. The meeting ended with distribution of certificates to the participants.