WTO Chairs Programme

The WTO Chairs Programme aims to support and promote trade-related academic activities by universities and research institutions in developing and least-developed countries. Fourteen institutions were selected as WTO Chairs for a four-year term in 2009. An additional seven institutions were selected for Phase 2 of the Programme in 2014.  

Dedicated website for WTO Chair Holders

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See also:
Building trade capacity
Economic research and analysis
Students and young professionals


 Photo gallery  

> Photo gallery



> Watch the video (20m 35s)
> More videos


New publication 



Book launch:
> Connecting to Global Markets — Challenges and Opportunities: Case Studies Presented by WTO Chair Holders
(11 February 2014)




News  back to top


Background back to top

The WTO Chairs Programme was launched in 2010. It aims to enhance knowledge and understanding of the trading system among academics and policy makers in developing countries through curriculum development, research and outreach activities by universities and research institutions.

Academic institutions awarded WTO Chairs receive support in the areas of curriculum development, research and outreach activities. The chair-holders are selected through a competitive process. Fourteen institutions were originally selected as WTO Chairs for a four-year term in 2009.

Chairs selected in 2009


Phase 2  back to top

Seven institutions were added to the Programme in May 2014 following a call for tenders.

Chairs selected in 2014


Objectives of the Programme  back to top

The main objectives of the Programme are to:

  • provide teaching support for the development and delivery of courses on trade policy and WTO-related matters in academic institutions
  • foster further research in trade-related matters and highlight the policy relevance of existing research — universities awarded a WTO Chair are expected to cooperate their counterparts in the Programme through joint research, shared lecturing arrangements and student/academic exchanges
  • encourage outreach/communication — universities awarded a WTO Chair are expected to organize public activities aimed at disseminating research and promoting discussion regarding international trade and trade co-operation.
  • build lasting relationships with institutions from developing countries by according financial support to beneficiary institutions for a maximum period of four years


Advisory Board  back to top

The Programme is advised by an Advisory Board, an external body composed of experienced scholars whose role is to ensure the academic quality of outputs generated by Chair holders. 

Current Advisory Board members


 WTO events


> 11-12 February 2014
Chairs Programme Conference: "The Way Forward for a Successful Partnership"


11-12 July 2013
WTO Chairs Annual Conference


26 June 2012
WTO Chairs Annual Conference


> 21 June 2011
WTO Chairs Annual Conference


25-26 May 2010
(Inaugural Conference of the WCP)