WTO hosts training in trade negotiation skills |28 November 2023
The World Trade Organisation (WTO), in collaboration with the department of Trade, is conducting a five-day training programme on 'Trade Negotiation Skills' in Seychelles.
Its primary objective is to familiarise participants with the theory and concepts of trade negotiations and to practice through exercises and simulation the main negotiation skills and techniques.
The workshop is being led by Willie Chatsika, head of English-speaking Africa Desk at the Institute for Training and Technical Cooperation (ITTC) at WTO and Franziska Kirschke, training officer at ITTC.
It consists of a succession of theoretical and practical sessions during which the participants will be able to familiarise themselves with elements and general concepts of negotiation theory. They will also be able to familiarise themselves with the linkages between negotiation theory and multilateral trade negotiations in the WTO context through interactive sessions and exercises.
Veronique Brutus, senior trade officer in the department, noted that “the department of Trade has been mandated to negotiate trade agreements and it is important for our staff to gain the necessary knowledge in order for them to understand and participate in negotiations. As a member of WTO, Seychelles approached the organisation to conduct this training”.
Ms Brutus noted they also invited members of other institutions/organisations from the government and the private sector such as Office of the Attorney General, fisheries, customs, and agriculture among others. The participants are having the opportunity to engage with negotiation theory and its application in multilateral trade negotiations within the framework of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
Mr Chatsika shared that “the WTO's overriding objective is to ensure trade flows as smoothly and predictably as possible and to help its members use trade as a means to raise people's living standards. We also help our members with the understanding of new rules and principles of international trade”, he said.
He added that WTO is the only global international organisation dealing with the rules of trade between nations.
“At its heart are the WTO agreements, negotiated and signed by the bulk of the world’s trading nations and ratified in their parliaments. The goal is to ensure that trade flows as smoothly, predictably and freely as possible.”
The WTO representative shared the training will include an overview of the WTO, including its institutional structure, functions, and principles, a comprehensive exploration of trade in goods, covering key concepts, definitions, and schedules.
The participants also engaged in practical exercises designed to introduce the basic concepts of negotiation theory. Day three will focus on sharpening negotiation techniques and they will explore various negotiating techniques, followed by a simulation exercise in the afternoon. This will allow hands-on learning and participants will be able to apply theoretical knowledge to practical scenarios.
Seychelles joined the WTO on April 26, 2015 and the organisation has 164 members since July 29, 2016.
Photos: Joena Meme