Trade Policy Expert

United Nations Development Programme, Iraq

Skill Required:, Policy/ Advocacy and Campaign
Preferred Experience: 
2 years of relevant work experience
Closing Date for Applications: 
6th July, 2021

Job Description


  • The International Trade Centre (ITC) is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United Nations (UN). It is the only multilateral agency fully dedicated to supporting the internationalization of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). ITC's mission is to foster inclusive and sustainable growth and development through trade and international business development. ITC Headquarters is located in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • ITC projects and programmes contribute to the global efforts to achieve UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development and the Aid for Trade agenda.

ITC works at three levels:

Strengthening the integration of the business sector of developing countries and economies in transition into the global economy;

  • Improving the performance of trade and investment support institutions for the benefit of small and medium size enterprises; (SMEs), and enhancing the abilities of trade support institutions to better support them;
  • Improving the international competitiveness of SMEs.
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  • ITC will be implementing the project “Strengthening the agriculture and agri-food value chain and improving trade policy in Iraq” between 2020 and 2025. This project, funded by the European Union, aims to contribute to inclusive growth and job creation, particularly for youth for Iraq citizens. It seeks to enhance the trade competitiveness of Iraq’s agribusiness value chain, while improving the country’s trade policy.
  • The principal government counterpart for this project is the Ministry of Trade. Additional project counterparts are the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Planning, and the Federation of Iraq Chambers of Commerce, among others.

Project objectives:

Overall objective:

  • Contribute to inclusive economic growth and job creation, particularly for youth in Iraq.

Project outputs (expected results) :

  • Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) competitiveness and sustainability strategies are designed for high-potential products targeting domestic markets;
  • Productive and commercial value chain alliances and capacities of MSMEs to compete effectively enhanced;
  • Increased capacities of the enabling business environment to better support value chain competitiveness (with a particular; emphasis on the improvement of knowledge and skills for employment among youth);
  • Iraq’s trade policy is improved for enhanced performance and value chain competitiveness.

Project team:

  • A Project Management Team (PMT) will be established to oversee daily activities, manage and track budget and resources, provide administrative oversight, including monitoring and compliance, and manage relationships with key partners.

The PMT is composed of

  • The ITC headquarter-based Project Manager and Technical Lead who guide and coordinate technical and programmatic, administrative and financial aspects of the project in close collaboration with ITC Project Output Leaders, other international organizations and designated national counterparts;
  • ITC technical officers/experts for the project outputs are responsible for the implementation of specific project activities under each output. All activities are implemented under the supervision of the ITC HQ Project Manager, in close coordination with the National Project Office and jointly with national partners and stakeholders;
  • A Project office in Baghdad with international and national resident staff. The office will house three professional staff, namely a Project Coordinator, a Value Chain Expert and a Trade Policy Expert, as well as a Project Administrative Assistant. The team will be supported by three additional part-time staff: a Communication Specialist, a Monitoring and Evaluation Expert and a Security Referral. The office will assume coordination and day-to-day management and will also extend technical support to project implementation. The office will equally be the outreach, communication and development of working relations with stakeholders.
  • The full-time Trade Policy Expert, based in ITC’s Baghdad office, will coordinate with ITC HQ and national focal points at line ministries and other relevant counterparts. His/her functions will be implemented in close coordination with the Ministry of Trade (MoT). The MoT is the focal point for Iraq’s World Trade Organization (WTO) Accession and the Ministry is currently focusing on undertaking many economic reforms that will ultimately contribute to the process of WTO Accession.
  • The Trade Policy Expert will provide support to ER 4 to implement activities while also supporting the WTO Division in the MoT to implement their reform agenda. The expert will be a national from Iraq who will likely be embedded within the MoT on a part-time basis.
  • The Expert will be responsible for all submitted documents and must ensure that they are not plagiarised. Any plagiarism, copying or closely reproducing another’s work without accrediting the legitimate author in the documents submitted, would result in a refusal of the submitted document.


Under the direct supervision of the Senior Officer, Business and Trade Policy, Trade Facilitation and Policy for Business (TFPB) and in close coordination with the HQ based ER4 team the selected candidate will be responsible for the – inter alia - following tasks:

Provide support to implement activities under ER4:

  • Assess the capacity of the staff of all relevant government institutions related to WTO Accession, including the WTO Division, MoT, to identify knowledge gaps and possible capacity building activities that can be undertaken under the project;
  • On a regular basis (at least every week), meet with the focal point within the WTO Division, MoT, to discuss ongoing project activities and identify new priority areas for on-going WTO accession process. Summary of these meetings to be provided to ITC HQ ER 4 team through email communications;
  • Assess the inter-ministerial coordination system of Iraq with a specific focus on WTO Accession. This analysis should be provided to ITC in the form of a report including:
  • The current structure of the coordination system for WTO Accession;
  • The gaps/areas of improvement;
  • Recommendations to improve this system.
  • Support the development of concept notes and agendas for any ER 4 related activities;
  • Coordinate with the local project office, ITC HQ and WTO Division of MoT to organize technical workshops/trainings/events;
  • Support the organization of any ER4 related workshops/trainings/events as and when required. This can include the provision of technical inputs during the workshop/training/event, drafting of a summary of the workshop/trainings/events through a short report, developing of articles on the workshops/trainings/events for the purpose of communication and coordinating with the National Project Coordinator and team to arrange the logistics;
  • Participate in or lead field missions, including providing guidance to external consultants, government officials and other parties and drafting mission summaries;
  • Support to finalize reports/studies produced under ER4;
  • Support to identify national consultants for ER4;
  • Provide information to contribute to the monthly/quarterly/yearly reporting requirements for ER4, as requested by the SAAVI Project Management team.

Provide support to WTO Division, MoT:

  • Provide support to the team to understand the process of WTO accession and its various requirements including with respect to domestic regulatory reforms;
  • Support to identify trade-related domestic laws and regulations to be aligned vis-à-vis WTO principles;
  • Provide support to draft/update any WTO accessions-related documents;
  • Raise awareness on the fundamental importance of WTO accession process and substance, as well as the WTO agreements vis-à-vis partners and counterparts of WTO Division, MoT, particularly for the Iraqi business sector, including MSMEs;
  • Act as a liaison among various government institutions as instructed by WTO Division, MoT to accelerate the process of WTO Accession;
  • Act as a liaison amongst the MoT, Iraqi business sector association, and the ITC in disseminating the opportunities and challenges of the WTO accession;
  • Support to translate any necessary Iraqi official documents that are essential for WTO accession process into English.

Build strong partnerships with all relevant stakeholders (including the private sector) and ensure the design and delivery of well-targeted capacity strengthening activities and provision of advisory services:

  • Identify key private sector organizations relevant to ER4 and undertake meetings with them to identify areas of possible support under the project;
  • Support the organization of relevant workshops, trainings, information campaigns for the private sector, including providing technical inputs as and when required;
  • Consolidate and expand ER4’s network aiming at building effective collaboration with a broad range of relevant stakeholders playing a key role in research, policy making, and implementation of policies;
  • Participate in coordination meetings with other international organizations covering business environment related issues/reforms to foster synergies, for ER 4 and for the overall project.

Overall SAAVI project support and coordination:

  • Undertake research and analysis of the Business Environment context in Iraq (political, legal and social) to identify key actions that can be supported under the SAAVI project including for young entrepreneurs;
  • Monitor the situation and keep abreast of the developments regarding trade policy, domestic economic reforms and any plans from the government that could possibly influence the Iraqi and Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) business environment and provide ground intelligence to technical leads in the process of output design and implementation;
  • Ensure synergies during project implementation, coherence with partners and beneficiaries' needs and expectations as well as with relevant projects in Iraq;
  • Contribute to the design and operationalization of a Project Steering Committee (PSC) and technical working groups (TWG), particularly the TWG on ER4;
  • Maintain regular communication and ensure good information sharing with the entire ITC SAAVI team (local project office and HQ).


Functional Competencies:

  • Proven leadership and strong project management and coordination skills;
  • Excellent interpersonal and advocacy skills and ability to establish and maintain effective partnerships in a multicultural, multi-ethnic environment and respects diversity;
  • Proven ability to lead and work collaboratively in teams, with colleagues and encourage sharing of knowledge to achieve organizational goals;
  • Strong problem solving and analytical skills;
  • Ability to identify priority activities and assignments; adjust priorities as required;
  • Ability to work with accuracy under time constraints and pressure in a stressful environment; with patience, tactfulness, maintain confidentiality, take initiative and exercise good judgment;
  • Ability to plan own work and use time efficiently, manage conflicting priorities and work under pressure of tight and conflicting deadlines.

Technical Competencies:

  • Strong network within the trade related environment in Iraq (both public and private sector);
  • Very good understanding and knowledge of Iraq’s Trade Policy, it’s structure and functioning;
  • Demonstrated knowledge of challenges to trade and private sector development in Iraq;
  • Very good result-based management skills;
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the process and substance of WTO Accession and WTO Agreements;
  • Extensive experience in working in the field of trade policy;
  • Excellent drafting and communication skills in both Arabic and English;
  • Previous experience with the UN System would be an asset.


Education and Work experience:

  • Master Degree or equivalent in economics, international trade, business administration, development studies or related field with minimum of 2 years’ experience in the field of technical assistance and trade development including experience in project management, administration or related field.


  • A Bachelor’s degree in economics, international trade, business administration, development studies or related field with 4 years’ experience in the field of technical assistance and trade development including experience in project management, administration or related field.

Language Requirements:

  • Advanced English with excellent written and oral communication skills is essential;
  • Fluency in Arabic is required.

Required knowledge and skills:

  • Very good understanding and knowledge of Iraq’s Trade Policy, it’s structure and functioningl
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the WTO system and accession processl
  • Demonstrated knowledge of challenges to trade and private sector development in Iraql
  • Very good understanding of public and private trade support institutions in Iraq and their mandates as well as of private sector needs and expectations in Iraql
  • Extensive experience in working with government and/or private sector counterpartsl
  • Very good result-based management skillsl
  • Excellent drafting and communication skillsl
  • Previous experience with the UN System would be an asset.


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