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Norway donates NOK 58.5 million to boost trading capacity of developing countries and LDCs

The government of Norway will donate NOK 58.5 million (CHF 6,798,989) to trade-related programmes for developing countries, in particular least-developed countries (LDCs), in 2015-2016.

Norway's contribution consists of NOK 20 million (CHF 2,327,258) to the Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund (DDAGTF), NOK 8 million (CHF 930,963) to the Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF), NOK 30 million (CHF 3,486,681) to the Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility (TFAF) and NOK 500,000 (CHF 58,169) to help LDCs participate in the WTO's 10th Ministerial Conference. The objective of this funding is to help developing countries and LDCs improve their capacity to trade, implement WTO agreements and better integrate into the global economy.

WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo said: "Norway's donations are a welcome contribution to the WTO's continued work in trade-related technical assistance. These will help boost developing and least-developed countries' capacities to take advantage of global markets, provide them the assistance for implementing the Trade Facilitation Agreement, support LDC participation in the WTO's Ministerial Conference in Nairobi this December, and enhance the inclusiveness of the multilateral trading system."

Norway's Ambassador Harald Neple said: "Norway firmly believes that the integration of developing countries into the multilateral trading system will influence positively the economic development of these countries. It is particularly important to enable the poorest countries to reap the benefits that the WTO rule book provides, and I am pleased that Norway is contributing in this regard. Taking on commitments in the WTO in line with countries’ economic development is an important step towards global integration and increased prosperity.”

The DDAGTF was established to help developing countries and LDCs improve their participation in trade-related policy-making, in the context of the Doha Round - the latest round of trade negotiations among WTO members – and implement WTO agreements.

The TFAF was created at the request of developing countries and LDCs to help ensure that they receive the assistance needed to reap the full benefits of the Trade Facilitation Agreement and to support the ultimate goal of full implementation of the new Agreement by all members. The TFAF will support these countries in assessing their specific needs and identifying possible development partners to help them meet those needs through a diverse number of activities.

The STDF is a global partnership working to increase awareness, mobilize resources, strengthen collaboration, identify and disseminate good practice and provide support and funding for the development and implementation of projects that promote compliance with international sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) requirements. The objective of this facility is to help developing countries and LDCs establish and implement SPS standards in the areas of food safety, animal health and plant health and expand their ability to gain or maintain access to international markets.

Through its contribution relating to the Ministerial Conference, Norway will cover the travelling expenses of government officials from developing countries, in particular LDCs, to ensure that they can fully participate in the Tenth Ministerial Conference, the WTO's top decision-making body.

Since 2001, Norway has donated a total of NOK 300,044,180 (CHF 34,888,013) to WTO trust funds.