Government Pledges €340,000 to WTO for Trade Capacity Building
Today (11th March 2002) in Geneva the Irish Government along with other World Trade Organisation (WTO) member states pledged €340,000 to the WTO Trust Fund. This important multilateral initiative consists of technical assistance measures designed to increase the capacity of developing countries to engage in international trade.
This pledge underscores the Irish Government's confidence in the WTO's ability to deliver technical assistance and trade capacity building measures, as agreed at the Doha Conference in November 2001 which launched the new Trade Round.
Minister of State Ms Liz O'Donnell said:
"I have strongly pushed the idea of trade being an important part of our development aid programme. All research would indicate that trade is a key factor in the economic growth of developing countries, and that this growth is essential to sustainable poverty reduction."
"Many developing countries are currently at a distinct disadvantage in attempting to compete in an open global market. In both the public and private sectors in many of the least developed countries there is a lack of institutional resource capacity and negotiating skills ."
"For example consultancy services like marketing and legal specialists or regulatory quality assurance agencies, that we would take for granted in the developed world are non existent in the least developed countries. This initiative by the WTO will help bridge this deficit and increase the influence of these countries in the negotiation of the new Trade Round. "
The Trust fund is likely to exceed its target of €10.2 million. It will finance projects and workshops aimed at building the administrative structures in developing countries that will enable them to more profitably participate in world trade, as governed by the WTO.
The amount of €340,000 is part of an overall allocation of €1.5 million approved by Minister of State Ms. Liz O'Donnell in January last for trade related technical assistance and capacity building in developing countries.
The Doha Declaration provided for a global Trust Fund that will finance technical assistance and trade capacity building measures in developing countries.