17 May 2005

The United States to contribute US$ 992,000 to WTO technical assistance

The United States Government today (17 May 2005) pledged a contribution of US$ 992,000 (CHF 1.2 million) to the Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund for 2005. The United States’ contribution will be used, among other things, to strengthen the technical capacity of developing countries to participate in the market access related aspects of the Doha Development Agenda negotiations, including for the preparation of service requests and offers and negotiations on Trade Facilitation.

“I heartily welcome the United States’ generous contribution,” said Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi, Director-General of the WTO. “Recent talks, especially on agriculture, have shown how complicated WTO matters are and how essential it is that we help developing countries build their capacities to participate in the Doha Development Agenda. Such contributions enable us to organize training activities where developing country officials can further their knowledge of the WTO.”

U.S. Trade Representative, Robert Portman, commented: “As a leader in the Doha negotiations, this contribution is evidence of our commitment to provide assistance to the developing countries to help them participate in the negotiations and benefit from the results. Developing countries have a critical role to play in these negotiations. Assisting developing countries to participate in the Doha Development Agenda and implement their obligations is vital to securing an ambitious result in the negotiations. Trade can play a vital role in helping developing countries move forward and provide better lives for their people.”

The Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund finances activities which aim to enhance developing countries’ participation in the WTO negotiations. Since 2001, the United States has contributed almost US$ 5 million (approximately CHF 6 million) to WTO technical assistance activities.