The introductory course focused on WTO activities and trade policy issues specific to least developed countries (LDCs). The programme covered a wide range of WTO topics, ranging from rules of origin to agriculture and dispute settlement. The WTO's capacity-building activities seek to deepen the integration of developing countries, and more specifically LDCs, into the global trading system.
“This course has not only refreshed my knowledge on a number of issues, but it has also provided me with the latest information from experts in various fields”, said S.M. Sumaiya Zabeen, Deputy Chief at Bangladesh's Trade and Tariff Commission. “In my work, we make recommendations on the drafting of different agreements on trade- and tariff‑related issues, including regional trade agreement negotiations, so this course is particularly helpful.” Most of the components normally provided during face-to-face activities were included in this training course, which was held for the second time virtually. It included live presentations, discussions and exercises. “I felt like I was participating in-person in Geneva”, says Mr Ibrahim Ghanem, WTO focal point at Yemen's Ministry of Industry and Trade.
In the closing ceremony, Bridget Chilala, Director of the WTO's Institute for Training and Technical Cooperation, said she hoped to see participants in-person in Geneva — “perhaps in a not-too-distant future” — either to carry out WTO-related duties or to attend other WTO courses.
“The road does not end here”, Ms Chilala told participants. “On the one hand, it is expected that you put to use what you have learnt in this course to the benefit of your national trade policy making as well as to building the capacity of your fellow colleagues. On the other hand, you have the possibility of pursuing further training through the WTO e-Learning programme as well as other courses.”
All WTO training is structured around three progressive levels. Participants who have successfully completed this “level 1” — or introductory activity — can access “level 2” — or intermediate courses — before reaching the advanced level (“level 3”). The list of all available courses can be found here.
The list of the WTO's 35 LDCs is available here.