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WTO NEWS: 1995 PRESS RELEASES

PRESS/31
23 November 1995

European Union provides financial backing for seminars on Uruguay Round results

The European Union has provided 1.1 million ecus to finance technical cooperation activities by the World Trade Organization in cooperation with the ACP Secretariat. The sum will be allocated to the organization of eight regional seminars to inform trade policy makers and businessmen in the developing world of the results and opportunities of the Uruguay Round.

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The offer was confirmed this week in a letter to Mr. Renato Ruggiero, Director-General of the WTO, by Sir Leon Brittan, Vice President of the European Commission. Mr. Ruggiero commented:

"I am delighted that, through the EU donation, the WTO is going to be in a position to reinforce its work in ensuring maximum benefit to developing countries from the implementation of Uruguay Round commitments."

Six of the eight seminars will be held in Africa where a major effort is being made by the WTO to ensure that all countries on the continent draw the maximum economic benefits from actual or prospective WTO membership. The remaining two seminars will be held for Caribbean and Pacific ACP countries.

The new programme draws together elements of the WTO's Plan of Action for Africa with the efforts of the European Union to assist ACP countries in understanding and responding to the Uruguay Round results. Some 54 African countries will be covered, 15 in the Caribbean and eight in the Pacific. The five-day seminars will involve four persons from each country - two from the private sector and two from government agencies.

The focus of the seminars will be: an assessment of trading opportunities and the general economic impact of the Round for each country; the identification of policy measures which can serve to maximize benefits from liberalized and diversified access to markets and the adaptation of laws and regulations in order to take advantage of Uruguay Round results.