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Press/225
9 May 2001
Spain donates 100,000 euros to the WTO for developing country technical assistance

The Government of Spain will contribute 100,000 euros (154,000 Swiss Francs) to the World Trade Organization to help finance technical assistance activities in favour of developing countries.

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This voluntary contribution by Spain will be used to finance a trade policy course for Latin American countries which are members of the Latin American Integration Association (LAIA), with the support of the LAIA General Secretariat, to be held in Montevideo, Uruguay, in the second half of September 2001.

The purpose of the course is to train regional officials who deal with matters relating to the WTO and the international trading system. It also seeks to develop a better understanding of the commitments entered into by WTO Member countries in order to guide their positions in regional or multilateral negotiations.

On behalf of the Spanish Government, the Secretary-General for Foreign Trade, Francisco Utrera Mora, today (Wednesday, 9 May) signed the Memorandum of Understanding between Spain and the World Trade Organization concerning this contribution.

The WTO Director-General, Mike Moore, thanked Spain for its contribution and stressed the vital importance of providing technical assistance to developing countries at a time when the Organization's Member countries are preparing for the forthcoming Ministerial Conference in Qatar in November.

Ever since its creation in 1995, the WTO has been collecting voluntary contributions of this kind to help poorer countries participate actively in the WTO and take advantage of the new opportunities in international trade offered by the WTO Agreements. These funds are administered by the WTO Secretariat.