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12 January 1996

WTO and UNCTAD increase joint technical assistance efforts

Mr. Renato Ruggiero, Director General of the World Trade Organization, and Mr. Rubens Ricupero, Secretary-General of the UN Conference on Trade and Development, yesterday chaired the first high-level meeting aimed at enhancing cooperation between the two Secretariats. Mr. J. Denis Bélisle, Executive Director of the International Trade Centre, also participated.

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The overall objective of this new approach to collaboration between trade policy and trade promotion experts in the three organizations is to assist developing countries, and especially the least-developed among them, to integrate themselves effectively into the multilateral trading system and to draw the maximum benefit from trade and investment opportunities.

A number of measures have already been agreed to improve the working relationships among the organizations and others will be explored in future joint meetings. This will be achieved, in particular, through improved cooperation and coordination in technical assistance activities.

Mr. Ruggiero, accompanied by Mr. Bélisle, will begin a visit to four African countries (Tunisia, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana and Kenya) next week, after which the three institutions will consider follow-up actions.