30 November 2004

The Netherlands pledges 900,000 euros for the Standards and Trade Development Facility

The Netherlands Government has donated 900,000 euros over three years to a joint fund for the implementation of the Standards and Trade Development Facility in the sanitary and phytosanitary area.

The 29 November 2004 Dutch contribution will bolster the Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF)1, which assists developing countries in improving their expertise and capacity to analyze and implement international sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) standards. Capacity building in SPS not only enhances market access opportunities, it also raises health standards in developing countries for humans, animals and plants.

“Thanks to this new contribution made by the Netherlands, we will be able to respond effectively to developing country demands for new technical and financial mechanisms to implement sanitary and phytosanitary standards,” said WTO Director-General Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi. “Since the WTO Ministerial Meeting in Doha in November 2001, considerable progress has been made by the partners in making the STDF a reality. The contribution from the Netherlands reflects that progress and will help us launch new projects, such as one to assist developing countries in understanding and complying with an international standard on wood packaging.”

The STDF has been established with seed funding from the World Bank Development Grant Facility and the WTO Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund. The WTO Secretariat has been administering the STDF trust fund since its inception.

1. A joint initiative between the World Trade Organization, World Health Organization, World Bank, World Organization for Animal Health, and Food and Agriculture Organization back to text