TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE

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This document shows the swift reaction of the WTO Secretariat to the COVID-19 pandemic, WTO Deputy Director-General, Xiangchen Zhang, said in the foreword to the report. He stressed that, with innovation and flexibility, the WTO Secretariat was able to continue providing support to developing countries and least-developed countries despite the constraints posed by the pandemic, such as travel restrictions.

The report details how virtual training and e‑learning courses were conducted in 2021 to maintain the WTO's training activities.

Faced by a decline in participation for some courses due to a variety of constraints — including connectivity issues — the Secretariat responded by developing new ways of delivering activities virtually. This approach also resulted in a reduction in the costs related to technical assistance and training. Making the courses as inclusive as possible remained a priority in 2021.

The WTO's technical assistance and training aims at improving trade capacities in developing countries and LDCs — including observer governments — so that they can take full advantage of the opportunities arising from the multilateral trading system and respond to the challenges of participation in international trade. The WTO's capacity-building support is funded through the Organization's regular budget (38 per cent) and voluntary contributions from WTO members (62 per cent).

The report is available here. It includes an overview of technical assistance activities and results as well as a digital interactive presentation of 2021 highlights.

The French and Spanish editions will be published within the coming weeks.

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