WTO news: what’s been happening in the WTO

2 December 2002

Special workshop for African countries on Trade and Investment

The WTO's technical assistance programme on Trade and Investment continues on 1-2 December 2002 with a special workshop for capital-based officials from 21 African countries. This Workshop is being conducted in English. The WTO Secretariat will organise a similar Workshop next year for capital-based officials from African countries that use French as their working language in the WTO.

The Workshop has been organised by the WTO Secretariat in cooperation with UNCTAD, and with the support of the Government of Japan through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Technical workshops of this kind are being held regularly throughout the period up to the 5th Ministerial Session in Cancun to allow WTO Members and observer governments to prepare in an informal setting for discussions in the Working Group on the Relationship between Trade and Investment. Their aim is to assist developing and least-developed countries to better evaluate the implications of closer multilateral cooperation on Investment for their development policies and objectives.

The active participation of all developing countries is indispensable to the success of the Doha work programme, but resource constraints make it difficult for many of them to participate as often and as intensively as they would wish in the Geneva process. For this special Workshop, therefore, with support from JICA, financing has been made available to invite a capital-based official from each English-speaking African Member country to visit Geneva for a few days so as to participate not only in the Workshop, but also in the subsequent meeting of the Working Group that will take place on 3-4 December.

That will be the Working Group’s final meeting of the year, at which it will review the work that has been completed since Doha and discuss its end-of-year report to the WTO General Council. By participating in it, capital-based officials from African countries will have the opportunity of taking stock of the progress that has been made in this area since Doha, and of participating with other WTO Members in charting the course of further work on Trade and Investment in the run-up to the Cancun Ministerial Conference.