This week, Ambassador Harald Neple, Norway’s Permanent Representative to the WTO and EFTA, signed the 2017 Grant Agreement with the WTO, releasing a Norwegian contribution to the Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund (DDAGTF), the Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF), and the 11th Ministerial Conference Least Developed Countries Fund. Norway puts strong emphasis on development cooperation, and this year’s contribution to the WTO will contain the following elements:
NOK 6 million to the Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund
By supporting the Global Trust Fund, Norway aims among other things to assist developing countries in their implementation of WTO Agreements and in making full use of their rights as WTO Members. Among other objectives are to assist governments in the process of acceding to the WTO and to raise awareness of WTO matters.
NOK 4 million to the Standards and Trade Development Facility
The Standards and Trade Development Facility is a global partnership that supports developing countries in building capacity to implement international sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) standards, guidelines and recommendations. This is crucial in order to meet human, animal and plant health requirements, and thus increase possibilities to gain and retain market access in international trade.
NOK 800.000 to the MC11 Least Developed Countries Fund
The WTO has a separate fund to enable delegations from LDCs to attend Ministerial Conferences and effectively promote their interests. It is an important democratic consideration that also Ministers and experts from LDCs should have the opportunity to take part in meetings at the highest level of the organization and present their views.
The WTO secretariat’s press release regarding the contribution to the WTO can be found here.
Norway is also a donor to other voluntary funds financing trade related technical assistance and capacity building. Among those, the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF), which provides assistance to least developed countries, is a priority. Norway has pledged to contribute NOK 150 mill to EIF for the period 2016 – 2020.