16 July 2003

Spain to contribute 230,000 Swiss francs to WTO technical assistance

The Government of Spain pledged today a donation of 150,000 euros (CHF 230,000) to the Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund. The contribution will finance four training courses for Latin American countries that will take place in the second half of 2003.

Spanish Ambassador Joaquín Pérez-Villanueva y Tovar and WTO Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi met today to sign a Memorandum of Understanding affirming this commitment.

Ambassador Pérez-Villanueva y Tovar said: “This is a contribution to finance technical assistance for developing countries, in order to promote their participation, so that they can secure the benefits of the multilateral trading system.”

“I thank Spain for its new contribution to the Doha Trust Fund. More than ever, developing countries need our assistance to participate fully in the negotiations,” said Dr. Supachai. “We are now concentrating on many new subjects, like trade and competition and trade and investment, and it is crucial that all members have a good understanding of these issues.”

The Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund was created following the WTO Ministerial Conference in Doha, in November 2001, which launched a new round of negotiations. In December 2002, the General Council approved a target amount of CHF 24 million for 2003 for the Doha Trust Fund. Since 1995, Spain has contributed CHF 372,000 to WTO technical assistance.