The RTPC is the first to be organized by the WTO in partnership with the St Augustine Campus of the University of the West Indies and the Government of Trinidad and Tobago.

The RTPC began with an opening address delivered by Mr Norris Herbert, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Trade and Industry of Trinidad and Tobago, and by Professor John Agard, Director of the Office of Research Development and Knowledge Transfer at the University of the West Indies. Mr Roberto Fiorentino of the WTO's Institute for Training and Technical Cooperation also addressed the participants.

Mr Herbert thanked the WTO for its ongoing support for WTO members and observers from the Caribbean region through its training and technical assistance programmes. He expressed particular gratitude for the partnership between the WTO and the Institute of International Relations/Diplomatic Academy of the Caribbean in St Augustine and reaffirmed the full support of the Ministry of Trade and Industry for the RTPC. Professor Agard stressed the active interest of the St Augustine campus in capacity building in regards to trade-related issues and the contribution that the RTPC would play in this respect. Mr Fiorentino thanked the University of the West Indies and the Government of Trinidad and Tobago for their support for the RTPC.

RTPCs are intermediate "generalist" training courses (level 2 in the WTO Progressive Learning Strategy) specifically designed for government officials with work experience in trade-related issues and who have undertaken basic WTO training. The eight-week courses are run in seven regions (English and French-speaking Africa; Asia-Pacific; Latin America; Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Caucasus; Arab and the Middle East; and the Caribbean) and are organized by the WTO in partnership with regional academic institutions selected through a competitive process.

The courses are delivered by officials from the WTO Secretariat and trade policy specialists and academic experts from the region. The course curriculum covers the WTO agreements, WTO rules and procedures, transparency and notification procedures, and regional trade policy issues. The course is delivered through a combination of lectures, co-lecturing with regional academics/trade policy specialists, case studies and exercises. It concludes with a final exam.



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