The WTO course aims to provide participants with a good understanding of the objectives, functioning, structure and basic principles of the WTO and to enhance awareness of the regional economic perspectives of trade policy and development. It also provides a platform for Pacific countries to interact and discuss trade issues of interest to the region.

Lautafi Fio Selafi Purcell, Samoa's Minister of Commerce, Industry and Labour, officially opened the workshop. Minister Lautafi encouraged all participants to seize the opportunity to learn more about the WTO’s multilateral trading rules and to improve their awareness of trade policy. “It is important that we fully understand WTO disciplines and principles so that we can effectively engage in policy discussions and formulation that will benefit and contribute to the development of our small economies,” he said.

Minister Lautafi underscored the need to understand developments in international trade and the role of the WTO as the global trade rules body and how these rules have an impact on regional efforts under the Framework for Pacific Regionalism, the Blue Pacific narrative and the Roadmap on Sustainable Fisheries.

Dr Luanga Mukela Faustin, Counsellor and Head of the Asia and Pacific Desk of the WTO Institute for Training and Technical Cooperation, reaffirmed the WTO’s recognition of the specific needs of Pacific countries, which is why this course has been specially designed. Mrs Mere Falemaka, Permanent Representative of the Pacific Islands Forum to the WTO in Geneva, stressed the importance of this capacity-building activity for the region, particularly as issues of Pacific interest such as fisheries subsidies are being negotiated at the WTO currently. The course will help participants in assisting their governments on WTO issues and in advancing to higher-level WTO courses. 

The training course is being held at the Taumeasina Island Resort Conference Centre.




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