TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE

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The participating journalists were from Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, the Philippines, Rwanda, South Africa, Thailand, Uganda, and Viet Nam.

During the four-day event, a variety of speakers, including WTO senior officials and delegates, outlined the chief issues facing the WTO and global trade. The topics covered included the dispute settlement mechanism, the updating of multilateral trading rules, the negotiations on agriculture and fisheries, the joint initiatives on e-commerce, investment facilitation for development and services domestic regulation, and the informal working group on micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). Some presentations also touched upon the issues of international investment and the digital economy.

Speakers included Ambassador Santiago Wills of Colombia, Chair of the fisheries subsidies negotiations, Ambassador Mathias Francke of Chile, Coordinator of the negotiations on investment facilitation for development, Ambassador José Luis Cancela of Uruguay, Coordinator of the Informal Working Group on MSMES, and Ambassador Hung Seng Tan of Singapore, Co-convenor of the Joint Initiative on E-commerce.

Presentations were also given by Jaime Coghi of Costa Rica, Chair of the negotiations on services domestic regulation, Patricia Holmes on behalf of Ambassador George Mina of Australia, Co-convenor of the Joint Initiative on E-commerce, and Katsuro Nagai on behalf of Ambassador Yamazaki Kazuyuki of Japan, Co-convenor of the Joint Initiative on E-commerce.

Journalists were also briefed on the role of the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) in the context of COVID-19 and on how Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the heads of other intergovernmental organizations are urging government leaders to ensure equal and rapid access to vaccines and other medical products needed to combat COVID-19.

Experts from the Third World Network and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) also made presentations on their trade-related work.

Logistical support for the seminar was provided by the Institute for Training and Technical Cooperation (ITTC) of the WTO.

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