National technical assistance activities

National technical assistance activities contribute to building trade capacity, resulting in the participants improving their knowledge and skills in areas defined by the beneficiary country.


Each national activity is guided by its own specific objectives, addressing the needs of the participants in line with national needs assessments. They include various categories of activities:

  • topic-based activities — these focus on specific issues at the national level that, in terms of priority needs and depth of treatment, cannot be adequately covered in regional seminars and in the trade policy courses. Requests for national activities can be made at any time. A process of “needs assessments” helps to identify issues that must be taken into consideration when designing and implementing a technical activity service.
  • technical assistance as a follow-up to the Trade Policy Reviews (TPRs) — TPRs of developing countries and least developed countries have been useful in increasing understanding of the WTO member's trade policy structure and its relationship with the WTO agreements, playing an important part in identifying capacity-building  needs.
  • assisting beneficiaries in conducting needs assessments — WTO members are encouraged to use the guidelines for needs assessment and to adapt their approach to their own particular conditions.
  • establishing WTO reference centres — these facilities are generally attached to the country's Ministry of Trade. The main objective in establishing and strengthening reference centres is to give government officials, the press, business community, academia and other authorized users better access to WTO-related information. More information on WTO reference centres is available here.