Tbilisi, Georgia: CLDP Facilitates Meeting of Central Asia Expert Level Working Group on SPS Measures Focused on Information Availability

May 13, 2019 - May 15, 2019
Lab Visit: Meeting of Central Asia Expert Level Working Group on SPS Measures

On May 13-15, 2019, in Tbilisi, Georgia, CLDP facilitated the eighth meeting of the Expert Level Working Group on Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures for officials from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan. The group benefited from additional participation by officials from Ukraine and Georgia. Each participating country presented to the group the updates and changing state of play in animal, plant, and food safety rules and measures in their country. Participants posed questions to each other over these changes and discussed their impact on regional trade. The group heard and discussed several presentations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service regarding World Trade Organization (WTO) SPS Notification obligations, the relationship between the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and international trade, and an update on electronic-phytosanitary certifications. The group also heard from CLDP Ukraine personnel regarding lack of WTO notifications from the Central Asia region and the potential to increase SPS notification and transparency activities. Participants also heard from representatives from Georgia’s Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture about challenges Georgia faces in making changes to its SPS rules as required under its Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with the European Union. Throughout the presentations and breakout discussion sessions, the group explored the idea that providing interested stakeholders as much information as possible about new SPS measures creates confidence amongst trading partners and leads to increased, safer trade. Participants were able to tour Georgia’s Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture laboratory to enquire about food, animal, and plant testing procedures. The group engaged in active discussion with lab officials regarding specific details and processes that could be relevant in their own countries. The program ended with remarks from U.S. Department of Commerce General Counsel, Peter Davidson, encouraging participants to continue their push to provide more information to stakeholders and to continue to work towards interconnectivity and integration amongst participating countries. In follow-up to the program, the group will share information regarding where each country’s SPS rules and measures are published, including  information about how interested stakeholder can comment on those measures. The group’s further work will focus on increasing information availability for interested stakeholders and continuing its work with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization to develop a regional veterinary laboratory network.

Participants of the Meeting of Central Asia Expert Level Working Group on SPS Measures Focused on Information Availability

Upcoming Programs

August 1, 2020 - April 30, 2021

Throughout the quarter, CLDP engaged with numerous experts to prepare and record eight separate sessions on trade topics, specifically designed for Afghanistan’s approximately 25 Commercial Attachés posted throughout the world. In May 2018, CLDP spent one week training the same group of Attachés in a comprehensive course designed for them prior to their departure. This updated training course is intended to provide more advanced training on relevant topics now that the Attachés have been serving in their posts for more than two years.  The topics for these presentations were identified based on consultations with the Attachés and relevant stakeholders in the last quarter. Topics include drafting international contracts, attracting foreign direct investment, negotiation strategies, and two sessions on working trade shows. The series of pre-recorded virtual presentations, including translated copies of the presentations, will be delivered on a rolling basis to the Attachés. In addition, future topics will be recorded and shared with the participants. These virtual recordings will be saved in an online repository, which will be available for any interested party to view, including the private sector. 

March 15, 2021 - May 24, 2021

CLDP in close collaboration with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) trained Bahrain Innovation and Technology Center (BITC) staff regarding filing patents in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council).  This program was part of a CLDP/USPTO collaboration to conduct over 40 hours of intellectual property training for the BITC.  The program included training on how to obtain patents and copyrights in the US as well as other jurisdictions.  

CLDP in Action

February 24, 2021 - February 25, 2021

On February 24-25, CLDP conducted a workshop on FIDIC contracts for a delegation of Sri Lankan officials from the Attorney General’s office.

Read More about Sri Lanka: FIDIC Contracts Workshop