19 March 2004

Norway donates 10 million Norwegian Kroner to WTO technical assistance

On 15 March 2004, the Government of Norway made a contribution of 10 million Norwegian Kroner (1.8 million Swiss Francs) to the Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund. This contribution will be used to finance the implementation of the WTO Technical Assistance and Training Plan in 2004.

WTO Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi and the Norwegian Ambassador Eirik Glenne signed the Memorandum of Understanding on the contribution by Norway on 15 March 2004.

“Norway has for several years been a strong supporter of the WTO trade-related technical assistance to developing, and in particular least-developed countries” said Norwegian Ambassador Eirik Glenne. “Contributing to the strengthening of the capacity of the developing and the least-developed countries to make full use of the multilateral trading system is an important political priority of the Norwegian government. Today’s contribution to the WTO Technical Assistance Plan for 2004 is a concrete expression of our continued commitment to the efforts of the WTO to this end.”

“I am extremely grateful to Norway for contributing again to the Doha Development Fund,” said WTO Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi.

“We can only reach a successful outcome to the Doha round of negotiations with the full participation of all WTO Members. Increasingly, developing countries are expressing the desire to contribute more actively to the WTO debate. We can help them, through technical assistance.”

Norway is one of the biggest voluntary contributors to WTO technical assistance activities since 1995, with a total of 8.7 million Swiss Francs.
The Doha Fund was established following the WTO Ministerial Conference held in Doha in November 2001, which launched a new round of negotiations. In December 2003, the General Council approved a target amount of 24 million Swiss Francs for the Trust Fund for 2004.