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Press/357
11 September 2003
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE

Austria contributes 310.000 Swiss francs to WTO technical assistance

The Government of Austria, on 10 September 2003, pledged to contribute 310,000 Swiss francs to the Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund of the WTO.

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Austrian Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Labour Dr. Martin Bartenstein and WTO Director General Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Austria´s contribution during the opening day of the Fifth WTO Ministerial Conference in Cancún, Mexico.

“For the second time, Austria makes a substantial contribution to the DDA Global Trust Fund,” Minister Bartenstein said. “Announcements by leaders of the developed world should be followed by concrete action,” he added. “We strongly support the idea that developing countries should be offered a level playing field through a joint effort to build up their capacities. I am, therefore, proud that my country contributes 310.000 Swiss francs to the Fund.”

“I thank Austria for its great generosity,” said Dr. Supachai. “Thanks to such contributions, we have been able to greatly improve WTO technical assistance activities. While the participation of developing and least-developed countries in the work of the WTO has significantly increased, there is still much that can be done to help them truly benefit from the multilateral trading system”.

The Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund was created following the WTO Ministerial Conference in Doha, in November 2001, which launched a new round of negotiations.