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ERIA Contributes to MOIT, Viet Nam - OECD Workshop on Regional Free Trade Agreements and the Environment

19 September 2014

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There has been a steady increase in the number of regional trade agreements (RTAs) that include environmental provisions. These provisions have allowed groups of countries to increase environmental cooperation and to negotiate environmental commitments that go beyond what has been possible multi-laterally.

In order to have deepened understanding on the negotiations and implementation of environmental provisions in RTAs, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT), Viet Nam and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) organized a Workshop on RTAs and the Environment on 17-18 September in Hanoi. About 30 senior government officials, business sector operators and members of academia from 13 economies of OECD and non-OECD countries, EU, and UNESCAP participated in the two- day deliberations and analyzed the scope and contents of environmental provisions in RTAs. Dr. Venkatachalam Anbumozhi of ERIA participated in the plenary session on RTAs and sustainable development wherein he outlined key factors that contributed to the inclusion of environment in RTAs. He also offered the way through which it could be included for compliance with multilateral environmental agreements (MEA). He also moderated a group simulation exercise involving trade and environment officials - mock negotiation focusing on enforcement of environmental compliance in FTAs. The participants also reviewed evolving methods and shared country experiences in conducting ex ante and ex post evaluation of the environmental effects of RTAs. It was suggested that future workshops should address the issue of trade liberalization and environment protection from the perspective of green growth in South East Asia.

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