France is donating a total of EUR 4.5 million (CHF 5 million) to finance technical assistance programmes and training activities for developing and least-developed countries (LDCs) over a period of three years (2018, 2019 and 2020). This amount will be directed to five funds housed by the WTO.
The Chairs Programme will receive each year EUR 50,000 (CHF 56,000) aimed at supporting and promoting the knowledge and understanding of the multilateral trading system through universities and research institutions in developing countries and LDCs. To date, 19 WTO chairs are undertaking curriculum development, research and outreach activities.
The Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund will benefit from EUR 400,000 (CHF 450,000) each year to finance training workshops for officials in Geneva and elsewhere to help them better understand and implement WTO agreements and to take part in multilateral trade negotiations.
A yearly amount of EUR 150,000 (CHF 170,000) will be allocated to the Standards and Trade Development to help developing countries and LDCs implement food safety, animal health and plant health standards and improve their sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) capacity.
Another annual contribution of EUR 800,000 (CHF 900,000) will be directed to the internship programme sponsored by France and Ireland and aimed at assisting the permanent missions of developing countries in Geneva.
The Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility will receive an annual contribution of EUR 100,000 (CHF 113,000) to help developing countries and LDCs implement the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement and to support the objective of full implementation of the Agreement by all WTO members.
WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo said: "France's contribution is very welcome as it will help to strengthen the trading and negotiating capacity of developing countries and LDCs over the next three years. It shows the importance that France attaches to helping poorer countries benefit fully from global trade and further integrate into the world economy."
The Permanent Representative of France, Jean-Marie Paugam, said: “Trade-related technical assistance is a crucial way of helping developing countries and least-developed countries integrate more fully into the multilateral trading system. France is pleased to be renewing its financial commitment, which has already allowed 194 interns from these countries to work in their permanent missions in Geneva and to strengthen their knowledge of global trading issues."
Since 2000, France has contributed approximately EUR 25 million (just over CHF 22 million) to WTO trust funds.
Source: World Trade Organization