Trade Policy Consultant for Trade in Services: Distribution Services Related to Wholesale and Retails

Location : Home Based
Application Deadline :26-Sep-19 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :National Consultant
Languages Required :
Arabic   French  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :66 working days over a period of 9 months


The project of Strengthening Arab Economic Integration for Sustainable Development (AEISD), by UNDP, sets as objective, provision of technical assistance to the League of Arab States (LAS), specifically Economic Sector and relevant organs, and member states of Pan Arab Free Trade Area (PAFTA) in working towards a deepened integration, including preparations for the Arab Customs Union. Its second important component relates to strengthening the Arab connectivity among economies in the region with the expectation, these efforts would be translated into more contribution of economic integration for better livelihood of people, more employment opportunity and participation by the private sector. Trade has significant potential to fight poverty in Arab countries through generation of more income and access to markets. Its third component focuses on the promotion of inclusiveness and transparency as part of the development agenda, particularly on the economic empowerment of women, for regional economic integration.

Built on the progress achieved in the previous program of support to implementation of the Executive Program of the agreement on Facilitating and Developing Trade among Arab Countries (PAFTA), the current project focuses on specific aspects of making trade an engine of inclusive and sustainable growth guided by the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.  In continuation, the Project will also focus on helping countries and the main sub-regional and regional integration entities to accelerate the pace of trade reforms and regional economic integration, to strengthen the employment effects of those reforms, with a focus on women and youth, and to mobilize additional resources for this purpose.

The project also aims to address specific challenges and complexities that Arab countries (and League of Arab States) face to enhance regional economic integration, more specifically in the transition from an FTA- based framework towards making the customs union a reality. The following presents major areas of focus:

  1. Provide a structured and targeted technical support to LAS Secretariat and Arab negotiators on trade policy formulation and reform under PAFTA.
  2. Provide assistance to the LAS Secretariat with a view of strengthening its organizational capacity in the pursuit of further facilitation of the regional economic integration agenda as well as promotion of trade liberalization.
  3. Assist target Arab countries with collaboration with national policy makers in trade and economic fields in efforts of modernization and reform of trade policy in taking into consideration new developments.
  4. Facilitation of transport and trade activities constitutes one of key areas to support national programs of enhancement of national competitiveness and better market access and more integration of the value chain.
  5. Promotion of gender equality and women empowerment as well as generation of business and job opportunity for youth is also a key target of project activities. Moreover, good governance constitutes a pre-requisite in deepening Arab economic integration to a higher level of commitment with inclusiveness and sustainability.
  6. Promotion of the contribution of trade, as one of the pillars to achievement of SDGs at national and regional level.

According to UNCTAD recent studies, services’ contribution to income generation, employment creation and foreign exchange earnings has increased significantly over the last two decades. Over the last 20 years, in developed countries, the importance of services has grown continuously with services now accounting for over 70 per cent of both GDP and total employment. Growth of services has also occurred in developing countries, however, the share of services in GDP and employment remains at 50 per cent and 35 per cent respectively.  On average, services in developing countries grows at the rate of eight percent on annual basis in the last decade.

These figures suggest a large untapped potential for developing countries to advance the development of the services sectors. Principal approaches towards this goal include the creation of an enabling environment through improved regulatory and institutional frameworks for the services economy and more liberalized services trade to enhance market access and investment opportunities.

Given the multifaceted nature of the services economy, with its successful development strongly affected by diverse resource requirements, inter-sectoral linkages and critical roles played by carefully designed national regulatory and incentive-based policies, many developing countries require technical assistance to identify and construct effective institutional frameworks and policy reform packages needed to ensure development gains from services and services trade liberalization.

UNCTAD’s Services Policy Reviews (SPRs)[1] are designed to meet this need. The ultimate SPR goal is to strengthen the capacity of developing country policy makers, regulators and trade negotiators to capture new market opportunities and address national challenges in key and sometimes sensitive services sectors. To this effect, each SPR guides requesting countries through a systematic review of the economic, regulatory, institutional and trade policy environments characterizing their services sectors with the aim of assisting them to improve regulatory and institutional frameworks and to identify trade policy options that advance national sectoral development objectives.

Trade in services has gained importance in most Arab countries – a consistent pattern for developing countries that embark on the economic diversification. According to statistics by the Arab Monetary Fund (2017) on trade by Arab economies, contribution of extractive industries (i.e. mining, oils, gas) to GDP continue to be on the downward trend, while manufacturing, agriculture and services are rising.

For the Moroccan economy, the pattern of importance of services to the GDP is consistent during the period from 2012 to 2017 in which, trade in services accounts for around 27 percent of the GDP in 2017 (against the average ratio of 21 percent of GDP of all Arab economies) with average growth rate of 4 percent on annual basis.

To assist Morocco’s efforts towards Arab economic integration, particularly in the area of trade in services, UNCTAD and UNDP were requested by the Moroccan authorities for support in June 2018. UNDP held consultations with the Government of Morocco, represented by the Ministry of Industry, Investment, Trade and Digital Economy (MIITDE) and agreed on a technical assistance programme on trade in services in December 2018.

Based on the request for technical assistance by the Government of Morocco to UNDP in conjunction with UNCTAD, and after consultations with Moroccan trade policy makers during a joint UNDP/UNCTAD scoping mission conducted in May 7 to 9 2019, the Ministry of Industry, Investment, Trade and Digital Economy (MIITDE), decided that the SPR would include the review and analysis of three specific services sectors, on a priority basis, namely: (i) Logistics Services in relation to the transportation and distribution of pharmaceutical products, (ii) Distribution services, comprised of wholesale services trade and retailing, and (iii) Professional Services Sector, limited to the sub-sector on Legal Services.

Building on UNCTAD’s Services Policy Review (SPR) work and experience in many developing countries, the SPR analysis would cover the broad economic and associated social dynamics of the national services sector as a whole and examine the potential of new markets as well in particular in Arab and African countries. The three aforementioned services sectors will be therefore the subject of the SPR to be undertaken by UNCTAD and UNDP for Morocco in 2019 - 2020.

Consultancy work, to be undertaken by the expert, under the supervision of and with guidance from UNCTAD in collaboration with UNDP, would contribute to the comprehensive review report on the three identified sectors as indicated in the earlier paragraph to be submitted to the Government of Morocco and concerned stakeholders. The expert will be part of the working team with experts from UNCTAD and UNDP, and it is expected that his work be integrated within the consolidated SPR final report. For that purpose, specific Terms of Refence (ToR) for the review of the three mentioned service sectors are developed. The execution of this consultancy work is carried out under UN rules and regulations applicable for Delegated Direct Implementation and fully aligned to UNDP Programme and Operations Policies and Procedures (POPP).



Duties and Responsibilities

Around the world, suppliers of distribution services provide the necessary link between millions of producers of goods and billions of consumers, within and across borders. As such, distribution services are key to the proper functioning of a market economy. Sales of the retail sector account for about one third of total consumer spending globally. The way the distribution sector interacts with producers and consumers has significant economic consequences in terms of timeliness, convenience and costs. The efficiency of the sector is crucial to ensuring consumer welfare, i.e., providing access to a wide variety of goods at competitive prices and with adequate quality. Inefficient distribution services limit the extent to which gains from the liberalization of trade in goods benefit consumers in terms of lower prices and greater choice. Exposure to competition stimulates local suppliers to improve their production methods and standards, the organization of their supply chains, and their use of technology. Failure of the distribution sector to perform its role well can lead to a significant misallocation of resources and economic costs. Distributors' margins represent a significant portion of the final price of products[1].

As average incomes expand along with the rising of the middle class in Morocco, the retail sector is exposed to number of opportunities for development, which can turn into concrete business opportunities. Although large-scale outlets have become a norm in several of the kingdom’s major cities, less-formal commerce still accounts for a large proportion of sales. In effect, the movement towards modern retail is underpinned by stable economic fundamentals that are expected to continue over the long term[2].

The retail sector represents 12% of the country's GDP[3] and the Moroccan government has shown commitment to improving its contribution through its Rawaj Vision 2020. It has been introduced in 2017 by the Ministry of Industry and aimed to modernize distribution and supply chains and boost the sector’s contribution to GDP from 11% to 15%. To achieve this, the plan called for the development of 600 supermarkets and hypermarkets, as well as 15 malls and 15 outlet stores. Importance of the retail sector in the domestic economy is rising in recent years. The Moroccan Investment Development and Export Agency (Agence Marocaine de Développement des Investissements et des Exportations, AMDIE) estimates, it now accounts for 11% of GDP and provides around 12.8% of total employment, with as many as 1.2m people working in the sector. In addition, the Casablanca-Rabat corridor accounts for about 50% of all modern retailers (Wholesale and Retail of Food in Morocco 2018 report, private sector involved).

According to the 2017 Global Retail Development Index, published by US consulting firm AT Kearney, ranked Morocco seventh out of 30 countries in the category of attractiveness for retail development, seven places up from 14th in the 2016 index[4]. Due to the significant potential of the services sectors in improving welfare for the citizens toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Morocco prioritized the review of Distribution services (Wholesale trade services and Retailing services) with the view of making the operating environment more viable and consider policy measures to capitalize on the exporting potential in new markets for services. The aim is to improve the regulatory, institutional and trade policy related to the Distribution services sector.

Ultimately the SPR would assist the government to, design and implement a strategic action plan for Distribution services at the country level, and to identify trade policy options to advance national sectoral development objectives, as well as to enhance the competitiveness of the sector in foreign markets at the regional level as a priority, as well as integration in the global services market. The national expert (NE) will be responsible for the quantitative and qualitative analysis of the current status of distribution services, with focus on wholesale and retail services in the country. The methodology of the trade policy review is based on the Service Policy Review (SPR) methodology, designed by UNCTAD, with due account for corresponding adjustments to conditions and operational environment of Morocco. Accordingly, the final report of the review of this sector should cover, inter alia, the following:

  1. Economic review of the Distribution (wholesale and retailing);
  2. Role and performance of the two sub- sectors;
  3. Regulation, institution, and policy measures impacting the said sub-sectors;
  4. Trade liberalization commitments affecting these sub-sectors at bilateral, regional and multilateral level;
  5. Analysis of Strength-Weakness-Opportunities-Threats (SWOT) of the sub- sectors.

Expectedly, from the findings of the review, Morocco will identify the corresponding institutional and policy measures to further develop the supply side capacity in the distribution services sector, design adequate sequencing of reforms, elaborate a coherent and comprehensive strategic framework for the distribution services sector, focusing on wholesale and retail sub-sectors, and identify trade policy options that advance national sectoral development objectives and improve the services exports to potential foreign markets. The main focus of this assignment is to undertake a review and analysis of wholesale and retail distribution services sectors from a trade in services perspective. As per the SPR aim SPR, the Moroccan government will be equipped with the following:

  1. A set of reform (or reform measures) to enhance performance and competitiveness of the distribution wholesale and retail services sectors;
  2. A set of development objectives that reforms are expected to achieve
  3. A set of indicators against which the effects of proposed reforms could be assessed;
  4. An action plan designating national entity responsible for leading the implementation of each recommendation, as well as an approximate timeframe and sequence for the implementation of each recommendation.

For the purpose of this assignment, the national expert will focus on the collection of trade statistics, quantitative and qualitative analysis of the Moroccan distribution services, with a particular focus on the sub-sector of wholesale and retail sectors services. The review should prioritize the analysis of factors, productive and supply capacity of the distribution sector in the pursuit of more efficient performance. At the same time, outputs of the policy review would contribute to long-term objective of enhancing Moroccan distribution providers to access foreign markets.

Main Activities

The national expert (NE) will perform the following duties:

  1. Review the economic, regulatory, institutional and trade policy environments that are characteristics of  the distribution sector in wholesale and retail services sub-sectors, as well as available literature, references on services-related dimensions of distribution services with regard to wholesale and retail services sectors in Morocco , in accordance with the requirements of the comprehensive SPR report including the role of this sector within the national economy and its contribution to it;
  2.  Analyse the impacts of the distribution services sector with regard to the wholesale and retail services sub- sectors - in Morocco’s economy and trade policy;
  3. Provide detailed analysis of  the current account, economic and trade in distribution services composition (flows and trends of distribution services with focusing on wholesale and retail ser-vices output, employment, investment, value chains, and trade), competitiveness of the wholesale and retail services, relevant flanking policies (supply capacity development policies, wholesale and retail services sectors structure and structural strategies, regulatory frameworks include laws and regulations governed the distribution services) and relevant related institutional frameworks;
  4. Provide an analysis of the challenges and opportunities with a view to suggest ways and means to improve the wholesale and retail services sectors, identify potential reforms and export performance;
  5. Collect and compile all relevant data , information and statistics of distribution services sector focusing on wholesale and retail services sub-sectors in Morocco (services provided cross-border by retailers and wholesalers in terms of services sales, related-data on supply of services through affiliates engaged in wholesale and retail, relevant associations and chamber of commerce, related-data on the online wholesale retail business etc.). In case of unavailable data, a survey might be developed and conducted and submitted to the relevant stakeholders;
  6. Conduct quantitative analysis of trade and statistical data related to wholesale and retail services as per WTO/GATS classification (Including the commitments taken by Morocco on wholesale and retail services sub-sectors, including assessment of challenges and opportunities from relevant multilateral, regional and bilateral arrangements, such as Arab Trade in Services Agreement, UMA, CFTA, EU Association Agreements and US bilateral FTA and any other Agreements covering the wholesale and retail services between Morocco and third parties). The analysis would cover the four modes of services supply, including market access conditions and restrictive measures, national treatment and MFN limitations, movement of natural person, cross border supply, consumption of the concerned services abroad, commercial presence, and requirements for foreign enterprises;
  7. Identify the major market trend for wholesale and retail services in Morocco including the evolution and recent development of e-commerce and digital trade services and the potential impact of entry of new key players in the wholesale and retail services sectors in terms of competition and foreign investment. The evidence-based analysis should also look into the export potential of wholesale and retail services to foreign targeted markets. Particular attention would be given to the impact on job creation and reinforcement of the supply side capacity towards the realization of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);
  8. Conduct interviews and meetings with multi stakeholders, including relevant governmental agencies as well as the private sector organizations, consumer protection associations and chambers of commerce among others, in order to collect information and identify areas of interest of the stakeholders so as to assist the government in elaborating policy tools and strategic directions in the two sectors;
  9. Prepare a survey or a questionnaire to collect unavailable data and information to be used in the analysis. The interaction with national stakeholders, should be with the aim to obtaining recent policy documents, statistics, other relevant data and information pertaining the wholesale and retail services sectors. This the exercise would be supported by the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Digital Economy (MIITDE);
  10. Participate in and contribute to technical discussions and activities related to the SPR process in particular during SPR national workshops and other events as appropriate to fulfil his/her duties under the present ToR leading to the preparation of the SPR report;
  11. S/he is also required to collaborate and coordinate with the other two sectoral experts working on the comprehensive report of the SPR of Morocco.



  • Demonstrates integrity and fairness, by modeling the UN/UNDP’s values and ethical standards;
  • Promotes the vision, mission and strategic goals of UNDP;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.


  • Time management and organizational skills, with the ability to undertake multiple tasks and deliver under pressure;
  • Strong analytical and synthesis skills;
  • Ability to work independently and achieve quality results with limited supervision and within tight schedules;
  • Strong quantitative and qualitative research skills;
  • Experience in reports production;
  • Ability to write in a clear and concise manner;
  • Good teamwork and interpersonal skills;
  • Flexibility and ability to handle multiple tasks and work under pressure;
  • Excellent computer skills especially Word, Excel and Power Point.

Knowledge Management and Learning

  • Ability to strongly promote and build knowledge products;
  • Promotes knowledge management in UNDP and a learning environment in the office through leadership and personal example;
  • Seeks and applies knowledge, information and best practices from within and outside of UNDP;
  • Demonstrates a strong capacity for innovation and creativity in providing strategic policy advice and direction.

Required Skills and Experience

Academic Qualification

  • Master’s Degree in Economics, International Development, or in other related fields.

Years of Experience

  • Minimum of 7 years of practical experience on trade in services and in economic analysis as well as on international trade and preferential trade arrangements included in Arab countries.
  • Demonstrated experience in performing similar assignments in the Arab region is an asset.

Technical experience

  • Expertise and knowledge in economics as well as analyzing economic impacts of trade in services.
  • Proven track record in conducting assessments of regional trade agreements using assessment tools or methodologies, economic analysis, analytical works and knowledge of public-private partnerships and dialogue.
  • Deep knowledge of WTO GATS Agreement, trade in services within the context of regional trade Agreements, and the inclusion of trade in services – preferably distribution services in national trade policies and their effects on the economy.
  • Proven research experience and publications related to trade with a focus on trade in services within regional trade agreements in trade policy-making and negotiations.
  • Demonstrated records of trade analysis of distribution services in Morocco.

Language Requirements

  • Excellent writing, editing and oral communications skills in both French and Arabic.
  • The consultant is expected to write in a clear and concise manner, demonstrating strong analytical and synthesis skills, as well as presentation and drafting competencies.
  • Knowledge of English is an asset.


  • The individual is required to exhibit his or her commitment to this assignment with UNDP-RBAS;
  • S/He shall perform tasks under the general guidance and direct supervision of the Chief Technical Advisor and UNCTAD experts. The supervision will include approvals/acceptance of the outputs as identified in previous sections;
  • The individual is expected to liaise and collaborate in the course of performing the work with the other two sectoral consultants, relevant government bodies and officials, as well as the UNCTAD experts; 
  • The individual is required to maintain close communication with the UNDP-RBAS, UNCTAD and the government focal point (MIITDE), on regular basis;
  • In the event of any delay, s/he will inform UNDP and UNCTAD promptly so that decisions and remedial action may be taken accordingly. Delays that would affect the flow of the collaborative work and the delivery of outputs on schedule may lead to termination of contract; and
  • Should UNDP, in consultation with UNCTAD, deem it necessary, it reserves the right to commission additional inputs, reviews or revisions, as needed to ensure the quality and relevance of the work.


The duration of the work is expected to be 66 working days over a period of 9 months from the contract signature date.


This is a home-based assignment in Morocco with possible travel to Arab countries. In such cases, unforeseen travel will be arranged in accordance with UNDP’s rules and regulations. 


All proposals must be expressed in a lump sum amount. This amount must be “all-inclusive”. Please note that the terms “all-inclusive” implies that all costs (professional fees, travel costs, living allowances, communications, consumables, etc.) that could possibly be incurred are already factored into the final amounts submitted in the proposal.

The contractor will be paid an all-inclusive Deliverables/Outputs based lump sum amounts over the assignment period, subject to the submission of Certification of Payment (CoP) duly certified and confirmation of satisfactory performance of achieved work (deliverables/outputs) in line with the schedule of payments table mentioned in Procurement Notice. 

Interested individual consultants must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications. Candidates that fail to submit the required information will not be considered.

  1. Duly accomplished Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability using the template provided by UNDP;
  2. Personal CV or P11, indicating all experience from similar projects, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate and at least three (3) professional references;
  3. Brief Description of why you consider yourself a suitable candidate for this assignment;
  4. One sample of work that shows the candidate’s competence to undertake this assignment;
  5. Financial Proposal that indicates the all-inclusive total contract price, supported by a breakdown of costs, as per template provided.  The terms “all-inclusive” implies that all costs (professional fees, travel costs, living allowances, communications, consumables, etc.) that could possibly be incurred are already factored into the final amounts submitted in the proposal. If an Offeror is employed by an organization/company/institution, and he/she expects his/her employer to charge a management fee in the process of releasing him/her to UNDP under Reimbursable Loan Agreement (RLA), the Offeror must indicate at this point, and ensure that all such costs are duly incorporated in the financial proposal submitted to UNDP.

Please do not submit financial proposal in this stage.Financial proposal shall be requested from Candidates who are considered technically responsive only

Interested candidates shall submit above documents to the Job Advertisement Website: as one document document not later than 16 August 2019, Interested candidates can find Procurement notice, letter of confirmation of interest and availability and P11 


Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the following methodologies:

Step I: Screening and desk review:

Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the following methodology.

Applications will be first screened and only candidates meeting the following minimum requirements will progress to the pool for shortlisting:

  • Master’s Degree in Economics, International Development, or related fields.
  • Minimum of 7 years of practical experience on trade in services as well as on international trade and preferential trade arrangements in Arab countries.
  • Excellent writing, editing and oral communications skills in both French and Arabic.

Technical evaluation Criteria max 100 points (Weighted 70):

  • Expertise and knowledge in economics as well as analyzing economic impacts of trade in services. (20 points)
  • Proven track record in conducting assessments of regional trade agreements using assessment tools or methodologies, economic analysis, analytical works and knowledge of public-private partnerships and dialogue. (15 Points)
  • Deep knowledge of WTO GATS Agreement, trade in services within the context of regional trade Agreements, and the inclusion of trade in services – preferably distribution services in national trade policies and their effects on the economy. (20 Points)
  • Proven research experience and publications related to trade with a focus on trade in services within regional trade agreements in trade policy-making and negotiations. (15 Points)
  • Demonstrated records of trade analysis of distribution services in Morocco. (20 points)
  • Sample of previous work. (10 Points)

Financial Criteria - 30% of total evaluation:

For those offers considered in the financial evaluation, the lowest price offer will receive 30 points.                 
The other offers will receive points in relation to the lowest offer, based on the following formula:                  
(PI / Pn)* 30 where Pn is the financial offer being evaluated and Pl is the lowest financial offer received.

Step II: Final evaluation:

The final evaluation will combine the scores of the desk review and the financial proposal with the following weights assigned to each:

Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the cumulative analysis methodology (weighted scoring method), where the award of the contract will be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:

  • Responsive/compliant/acceptable; and
  • Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation.

Technical Criteria weight: [70%]
Financial Criteria weight: [30%]

Only Individual Consultants obtaining a minimum of 49 points (70%) on the Technical evaluation would be considered for the Financial Evaluation. 

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

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