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WTO NEWS: 2000 PRESS RELEASES

Press/164
28 January 2000

Norway makes another contribution to WTO's global trust fund

The Norwegian Government recently contributed 4.8 million Norwegian Kroner (approximately CHF 950,000) to the WTO Global Trust Fund to be used to benefit least-developed countries. The Fund was established in July 1999 to receive extra-budgetary donations from WTO Members to finance technical cooperation activities carried out by the WTO.

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"I welcome Norway's generous contribution to the Fund," said WTO Director-General Mike Moore. "Since the WTO was formed, demand for technical assistance has increased dramatically. We are doing our best to respond to these demands, on our own and in cooperation with other international organizations.

"The WTO's regular budget for technical assistance of CHF 741,000 is insufficient to meet all the demands of developing and least-developed countries, as well as the needs of economies in transition, to enable them to engage more fully in the trading system. In recent years, these funds have largely been supplemented by generous contributions from countries such as Norway to support important programmes for development."

Norway's new contribution is its third to WTO's technical cooperation activities. In September 1995, Norway launched a WTO fund for least-developed countries with a $2.5 million contribution. In November 1999, Norway again contributed 2 million Norwegian Kroner (approximately CHF 400,000).

The Director-General has called on WTO Member governments to raise the regular budget for technical assistance to better meet the demand of developing countries. A group of countries, including Norway, has proposed an increase in the regular budget of CHF 10 million earmarked for technical assistance.