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The Trade.Com Facility

The Trade.Com facility was an all ACP €54.5 million programme of which the EC’s share was €50 million. It was designed to help RECs and ACP member States to develop their own strategies and capacities in trade policy and to negotiate bilateral, regional and international agreements effectively. The period of execution of the FA was August 2003 to December 2010. The facility was implemented by a PMU in collaboration with the Commonwealth Secretariat (Comsec) and L’Organisation Internationale de la Francophonies (OIF). The facility had four components (C1-4):

  • C1- implemented by the PMU - aimed at reinforcing local analytical and research capacities for trade policy formulation with systematic participation of all stakeholders in the process;
  • C2 - implemented by Comsec and OIF - provided assistance for ongoing negotiations via the recruitment of trade experts (Hub and Spokes) and the training of ACP negotiations;
  • C3 - implemented by the PMU - provided catalytic pilot activities for institutional reinforcement in trade support services, especially on SPS issues, etc.
  • C4 - covered the role of the PMU in coordinating dissemination of information generated under components 1, 2 and 3.


The Facility’s Expected Results (ERs) and related sub-results were as follows:

Expected Results Expected Sub-Results
Analytical and institutional capacity for trade policy formulation enhanced
  • Trade related research, training & consultancy capacities enhanced at local/regional level.
  • Diagnostic trade studies available to policy makers for formulation of trade policies.
  • A platform for effective participation of stakeholders in trade policy formulation in place.
Effective participation in international trade negotiations increased
  • Technical assistance and training is provided to national and regional trade negotiators.
  • Trade policies are mainstreamed in development strategies and negation agendas.
Institutional capacity for implementation of international agreements reinforced
  • Trade-related regulations are reformulated and technical barriers to trade or other difficulties in complying with international agreements identified and overcome through pilot schemes for institutional capacity building in trade support services.
  • Best practices on institutional capacity building are disseminated.
Institutional capacity for implementation of international agreements reinforced
  • ACP/donors aware of the programme and access its databases (experts, studies, projects and best practices)
  • Programme components coordinated (internally and externally).


TradeCom I interventions to stakeholders and beneficiaries did make a significant contribution to reinforcing the capacity of ACP countries and RECs to:

  1. strengthen analysis and trade policy-related research;
  2. increase the capacity of ACP States and RECs to effectively engage in trade negotiations and upgrade the skills of ACP negotiators through varied training programmes; and
  3. advance/address institutional and enabling environment issues at national level e.g. intellectual property rights, product standards, SPS issues, service sector trade issues, etc.


ACP MTS Programme

The €16.0 million ACP MTS Programme began operations in March 2009 and ceased operations in March 2014. It was a successor to the all-ACP capacity-building programme for the WTO that ran from 2002 to 2006. Unlike its predecessor, the ACP MTS Programme had two components: the Multilateral Trading System component and the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) component. The main purposes of the Programme were:

  • To assist ACP countries in reforming and adjusting to the multilateral trading system;
  • To improve their capacity to negotiate and implement multilateral trade agreements;
  • To integrate trade into the development process of the ACP countries; and
  • To facilitate accession of ACP member countries to the WTO.
Expected results of the MTS programme
Enhanced Capacity to negotiate
  1. Enhanced participation in both inter-ACP meetings and WTO meetings;
  2. Legal, economic and political analysis of negotiations;
  3. Preparation of advisory and technical papers;
  4. Issue-based workshops at national and regional levels;
  5. Trade policies mainstreamed in development strategies and negotiations agendas; and
  6. Enhanced participation of private sector organisations in the formulation of trade policy and definition of trade negotiations positions
  1. Enhanced national and regional capacities to implement WTO commitments;
  2. Training of public officials and private sector representatives to better understand the impact of implementing WTO Agreements;
  3. Review of legislation to ensure compliance with WTO Agreements;
  4. Coordination of TRTA at national and regional levels to ensure harmonisation of issues under consideration; and
  5. Dissemination of the best practices on institutional capacity building.
  1. Process of accession: disseminate pertinent procedures and gauge their application;
  2. Understanding the WTO law and their implication for the acceding country;
  3. Enumerate substantive issues raised during the accession process; and
  4. Participation of acceding ACP countries at the meetings of the respective Working Parties.
WTO Legal framework
  1. Drafting of domestic laws compatible with the WTO laws;
  2. Strengthening ACP legal understanding of WTO Law; and
  3. Training on the Understanding on the Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes.
  1. Outreach activities to provide equal opportunities to all ACP States;
  2. Promotion of the Programme through the website, leaflets, flyers and attendance to important trade meetings and missions; and
  3. Coordination with other trade-related programmes, mainly TradeCom, BizClim, TBT Programme, the WTO Secretariat, ITC, Commonwealth Secretariat and the Trade Advocacy Fund (TAF).
  1. Generation of broad based trade development agenda within ACP LDC States’ overall macroeconomic and development strategy; and
  2. Prioritisation of capacity building needs for support by other donors.

During its near five-year duration, the ACP MTS Programme provided assistance at the national, regional and all-ACP levels in a manner consistent with the mandate delineated in the Programme’s Terms of Reference. It supported 90 activities that spread across the ACP regions, with the majority designed for, and implemented at, the all-ACP and regional levels.


Table 1.12: Project implemented
Negotiations 49
Compliance 25
Legal framework 2
Accession 12
Visibility 2
Total 90


Programme funded by European Union at the request of the Organisation of African Caribbean and Pacific States - Implemented by AESA CONSORTIUM