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WTO NEWS: 2003 PRESS RELEASES

Press/360
22 October 2003
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE

Norway donates 6 million Norwegian Kroner to WTO technical assistance

The Government of Norway pledged on 14 October 2003 a contribution of 6 million Norwegian Kroner (CHF 1.2 million) to the Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund. This contribution will be used to finance the WTO technical assistance plan in 2003.

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“Norway has for several years been a staunch supporter of the WTO trade-related technical assistance to developing, and in particular least-developed countries,” said Norwegian Ambassador Kåre Bryn. “Strengthening the capacity of the developing and the least-developed countries to make full use of the multilateral trading system is essential if we are to succeed in poverty alleviation and economic growth on a sustainable, long-term basis. Norway considers this to be a shared responsibility and remains committed to the continued efforts of the WTO to this end.”

“I am extremely grateful to Norway for contributing again to the Doha Development Fund,” said WTO Director General Supachai Panitchpakdi. “We can only reach a successful outcome to the Doha round of negotiations with the full participation of all WTO Members. Increasingly, developing countries are expressing the desire to contribute more actively to the WTO debate. We can help them, through technical assistance, equip themselves with the right tools to do so.”

Norway is one of the biggest voluntary contributors to WTO technical assistance since 1995, with a total of CHF 7.6 million.

The Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund was set up following the WTO Ministerial Conference in Doha in November 2001 which launched a new round of negotiations. In December 2002, the General Council approved a target amount of 24 million Swiss francs for the Doha Trust Fund for 2003.