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Online Course on Negotiation of Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreements

Close up of handshake with digital pattern and map. International partnership concept (ShutterStock/ Who is Danny)

The negotiation of comprehensive economic partnership agreements (CEPAs) online training course has been developed by the ESCAP Trade, Investment and Innovation Division. Countries have increasingly moved from negotiating narrow-scope preferential trade agreements to more comprehensive economic partnership agreements (CEPAs). Such agreements cover not only traditional trade in goods issues such as tariff liberalization, but also issues such as technical barriers, investment measures, services trade and e-commerce. The inclusion of these issues presents challenges for developing countries, many of which lack staff sufficiently familiar with both the substance of these issues and their negotiating modalities.

This course is designed to help trade officials from developing countries to better understand these issues, so that they can more effectively deal with them during CEPA negotiation.

The course is divided into five modules as follows:

  1. Introduction to CEPAs and related negotiation
  2. SPS/TBT provisions and negotiation
  3. Investment provisions and negotiation
  4. Services provisions and negotiations
  5. E-commerce provisions


For guidance on how to study this course, you may refer to the Study Guide. The online course also includes the possibility of obtaining a certificate. To obtain a certificate, a course participant should achieve more than 75 percent correct answers on the QUIZ .

For more information, please contact:  [email protected]


*Acknowledgement: The materials have been developed by Henry Gao, Associate Professor of Law at Singapore Management University School of Law. His research areas include WTO, International Trade Law, Chinese Law and Law and Economics. He worked in Geneva as a lawyer at the WTO Secretariat as well as at the Faculty of Law of the University of Hong Kong (HKU), where he served as the Deputy Director of the East Asian International Economic Law and Policy (EAIEL) Program, the flagship program for WTO-related activities at HKU. Henry Gao is a member of Advisory Board of WTO Chairs Programme, a member of the E15 Initiative. He obtained J.D degree from Vanderbilt University in 2002.

**Disclaimer: The designations employed and the presentation of the material in the online course do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. The United Nations bears no responsibility for the availability or functionality of URLs. Opinion, figures and estimates set forth in this online course should not necessarily be considered as reflecting the views or carrying the endorsement of the United Nations. Mention of firm names and commercial products does not imply the endorsement of the United Nations.