Seminars & Events

IDEAS Public Seminar (Free Seminar)

Natural disasters and trade – Presentation by WTO Secretariat


December 20, 2018. (Thursday) 13:00-14:00


A32 IDEAS Large Classroom, IDE-JETRO


Mr. Michael George Roberts (The Head of the Aid for Trade Unit in the Development Division, The World Trade Organization (WTO))

The WTO is engaged in a research project examining natural disasters and their trade effects. The research seeks to examine the impacts of natural disasters (hydro-meteorological and geo-physical events) on trade, with a particular focus on some recently disaster-affected countries. The study seeks to examine trade issues that arise in disaster response, recovery and resilience.


Satoshi Inomata (Chief Senior Researcher, Inter-disciplinary Studies Center, IDE-JETRO)

Issues arising in disaster response include customs clearance and trade facilitation concerns. Hydro-meteorological and geo-physical events can inflict significant damage to critical trade infrastructure (e.g. port harbours and wharfs). Organizations seeking to provide relief to disaster-affected countries may face difficulties due to damaged infrastructure. They also face delays due to ill-adapted procedures for customs and other border clearance. In the case of one recent disaster, it was taking in excess of six weeks to locate and clear containers through customs. Trade issues may also arise in the context of disaster recovery. In addition to a decline in export revenues (e.g. due to damage to agriculture or a decline in tourist visitors), trading partners may take measures to restrict imports from disaster-affected countries (e.g. due to concerns about sanitary or phytosanitary safety). The Sendai framework for disaster risk reduction puts the emphasis on measures to promote disaster resilience. Many small developing countries are highly integrated with the global economy, a larger percentage of their GDP accounted for by imports and exports. The lecture will conclude with ideas as to how trade should be considered in the context of disaster resilience.
Those who would like to attend this seminar are asked to announce yourself to receptionists on your arrival at the IDE and to obtain IDEAS staff signature on your admission card after taking the course.

IDEAS Secretariat, IDE-JETRO