Trade Policy and Negotiations

Over the past years, the trade policy of nations has evolved substantially, triggered to a large extent by developments in the world economy, evolving geopolitics and the global power shift. The dynamic nature and flow of international trade has also been influential in that respect. Initially dominated by protectionist policies in the form of tariffs, voluntary trade restrictions and local industry protection, trade policy has evolved to cater more and more for open trade liberalisation policies driven principally by the WTO at the multilateral level, at the regional level by trade integration initiatives and on a unilateral basis as more and more nations mainstream trade in their national development strategies. With the gradual reduction of tariffs nowadays, trade policy is focusing more and more on non-tariff barriers, on trade in services and the services component of manufactured goods, value chains, trade facilitation and trade remedies and, in general, the regulatory environment for trade and doing business.

In addition, and increasingly so, the international trade scene has been dominated by a plethora of trade negotiations either taking place at multilateral, regional or bilateral levels. Equinoccio has progressively developed a genuine comparative advantage in delivering effective and sustainable support to our clients on trade policy and trade negotiations issues. These clients include pan-continental and regional organisations focusing on international trade, government institutions such as ministries of trade and commerce, the private sector and other actors in the trade community. We provide support in the form of tailor-made trade policy advice, well-researched analytical studies and capacity-building activities conducive to the design, formulation and implementation of an effective trade policy attuned to contemporary and local issues and realities. We also conduct capacity-building activities on issues under negotiation as well as on negotiation techniques. This enables our clients to develop strategic options for all types of trade negotiations under different scenarios, simulated or in actual negotiations.

We are actively involved in helping our clients address non-tariff barriers and develop a regulatory environment conducive to trade and business development through our specialised work on intellectual property rights and competition policy, and other relevant topics. We have also become a major development partner for a number of regional integration organisations.

We have developed a significant network of development partners, which allows us to stay at the forefront of the latest developments in international trade. Thus, we adapt deliverables and re-orient our work as issues of interest to our clients unfold in the global and/or regional scene. Equinoccio is actively engaged in researching new areas influencing international trade, and the resulting linkages between them. Such areas include climate change, food security, E-Commerce and Trade Finance.