October 28, 2005, Jaipur, Press Release

Jaipur, 28th October 2005. A team of experts from India-based CUTS International, FLACSO (Latin American School of Social Sciences, Argentina) and Canada-based North-South Institute has been awarded a prestigious project to conduct strategic review of WTO’s trade-related technical assistance programme. The team will conduct this review over a period of next six months.

“This is a very prestigious job and the challenge before us is to see how best poor countries can make use of WTO’s assistance to develop their capacity to effectively take part in negotiation, formulation and implementation of trade policies,” said Pradeep S. Mehta, Secretary General of CUTS International.

This review will look at WTO’s comparative advantage in offering trade-related technical assistance vis-à-vis other agencies, the relevance of WTO’s programme to the members and the participants, and efficiency and management of WTO-provided technical assistance.

Since the 2001 Doha ministerial conference, WTO’s trade-related technical assistance and capacity building programme (TRTA/CB) has gained momentum.

According to the joint WTO/OECD Trade Capacity Building Database, over 10,000 activities were conducted between 2001 to mid-2004, provided by more than 40 bilateral donors and multilateral agencies. In the case of the WTO alone, the number of TRTA/CB activities grew from 212 in 2001 to 319 in 2004.