The Government of Norway has donated NOK10.8m (US$1.3m) to World Trade Organization (WTO) trade-related programmes to help developing countries – and in particular least-developed countries (LDCs) – participate in multilateral trade negotiations and better access global markets.
Around NOK6m will be provided to the WTO’s Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund, which finances training workshops for government officials to help them better understand and implement WTO agreements and enhance their negotiating skills. Since the creation of the fund in 2001, over 2,500 workshops have been organised.
Meanwhile, NOK4m is to be contributed to the Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF), a global partnership aimed at helping developing countries comply with international food safety, animal and plant health standards and access agricultural markets more easily.
Around NOK800,000 of Norway’s contribution will help LDCs participate in the eleventh WTO Ministerial Conference (MC11), which will take place on 10-13 December 2017 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo said: “I welcome Norway’s continued support. Their generosity will help to ensure the voices of the least-developed countries feature prominently in global trade negotiations, thereby helping more people to leverage the opportunities that international trade offers.”
Ambassador Harald Neple, Norway’s Permanent Representative to the WTO, added: “Norway attaches great priority to trade as a tool for development. Norway recognises that technical assistance and capacity building can increase developing members’ participation in international trade, which is of particular importance to the LDCs.”
Overall, Norway has donated approximately CHF37m (US$37.7m) to WTO trust funds over the last 15 years.