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Australia supports developing countries in the WTO.



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Wednesday 13 March 2002 / MVT17/2002

Australia Supports Developing Countries in the WTO

Australia is taking the initiative in helping developing countries participate in the Doha round of World Trade Organisation negotiations, Trade Minister Mark Vaile said today after the WTO Global Trust Fund Pledging Conference in Geneva earlier this week.

“Australia will commit $460,000 to the Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund.  Australia’s pledge comes on top of approximately $28 million in trade-related technical assistance and capacity building activities which we provided to developing countries last year,” Mr Vaile said.

The WTO Global Trust Fund aims to secure funding to address technical assistance needs stemming from the Doha Declaration.  .

“Australia has a vital interest in ensuring the Doha rounds succeeds in bringing down trade barriers around the world.  Developing country participation is fundamental to the Doha round’s success,” Mr Vaile said.

“On many issues we need to work hand in hand with developing country members to achieve our objectives.  For example, the Cairns Group, which Australia chairs, has 14 developing countries among its 17 members. 

“It is in our interest, and the interest of developing country governments, that they can pursue their interests in the negotiations effectively.

“This is just one part of our efforts to ensure that we keep our side of the Doha Development Agenda bargain.  We have provided $500,000 to the Agency for International Trade Information and Cooperation (AITIC), to support developing country

non-resident WTO members, especially those in our region, to better understand and interact with the WTO.

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We will deliver a training program for African trade negotiators in May 2002, in South Africa, to assist African policy makers to maximise their engagement in trade negotiations.  Australia will co-fund the course with the South African Government. 

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We will look to conduct further trade policy training in Africa and in our region. ●

“We firmly believe training and assistance is necessary to help developing countries maximise their participation in negotiations. 

“But real and sustainable economic growth in developing countries requires meaningful market access, and reform of trade-distorting measures,

particularly in agriculture.  This is what Australia hopes to achieve in the Doha round.”

Media Contact:  Nicole Guihot (Departmental) (02) 6261 1555

This page last modified: Wednesday, 13-Mar-2002 16:05:54 EDT

Local Date: Friday, 15-Mar-2002 12:09:03 EDT