Norway has contributed NOK 3.5 million (approximately CHF 578,000) to the Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF) and the WTO Trade Facilitation Negotiating Group Fund.
A first donation of NOK 1.5 million (about CHF 250,000) was granted to the STDF, for food, animal and plant health standards, for 2012. The STDF helps developing countries improve their expertise and their capacity to analyze and implement international standards on food safety and animal and plant health. The STDF is a joint initiative of the World Trade Organization, the World Health Organization, the World Bank, the World Organization for Animal Health, and the Food and Agriculture Organization.
A second donation of NOK 2 million (approximately CHF 328,000) was donated to the Trade Facilitation Negotiating Group Fund for 2012-2013. It provides resources for capital-based officials from developing countries to participate in Geneva-based meetings of the Negotiating Group on Trade Facilitation. Facilitating trade is about rationalizing and simplifying international trade procedures in order to allow for easier flow of goods and trade at both national and international level with the aim of maintaining a coherent, transparent and predictable framework for trade.
WTO Director General Pascal Lamy declared “I welcome Norway’s contribution which demonstrates Norway’s commitment to help developing countries integrate in the global economy and take better advantage of the multilateral trading system.”
Norway’s WTO Ambassador, Elin Østebø Johansen, stated “These new contributions reflects Norway’s strong and continuous commitment to provide assistance to developing and least-developed countries. Norway will continue to support poor countries in expanding trade capacity and improving market access. In that regard, improving poor countries’ capacity to implement international SPS standards is key for them to gain and maintain market access. Trade has a crucial role to play in economic growth and development. This is especially crucial given the troubled times we are facing today”.