The Swedish government has donated around CHF1.3m (US$1.3m) to help support developing and least-developed countries to improve their trade capacity and enable them to participate more effectively in multilateral negotiations.

The contribution, which was made to the World Trade Organization's (WTO) Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund (DDAGTF), will finance training workshops for government officials in Geneva and elsewhere to help them develop the skills needed to negotiate multilateral accords.

Additionally, over CHF100,000 was donated to the External Evaluation of WTO Trust Funds, which will finance an external audit to assess the efficiency and management of WTO trade-related capacity-building and training programmes.

"I want to thank Sweden for its commitment to supporting developing and least-developed countries to improve their trade capacity," says WTO director general Roberto Azevêdo. "This is essential to ensure these countries can take advantage of the opportunities trade offers. Sweden's generous donations are very welcome."

To date, Sweden has donated nearly CHF45m to WTO trust funds over the last 15 years.

Sweden's WTO ambassador, Daniel Blockert, said: "Sweden has always been at the forefront of supporting developing countries and LDCs in their efforts to integrate into and benefit from the global trading system. Through this new contribution, we aim to assist these countries in fostering economic growth, promoting sustainable development and reducing poverty."