Under this capacity-building programme, partner institutions receive financial and technical support from the WTO for trade-related research, curriculum development and outreach activities. The Programme helps to develop institutional capacity to advise governments and key stakeholders on trade policy issues.

In December, the WTO launched a call for applications for the Programme’s new phase. Universities and research institutions in developing countries, LDCs, recently acceded WTO members and acceding governments are currently invited to submit their applications. Since the launch of the Programme ten years ago, the WTO has provided financial support to 19 institutions in countries across Africa, Asia and South and Central America in the form of yearly grants of up to CHF 50,000 per chair for a maximum of four years. The Programme has successfully generated strong links with government policy makers, business stakeholders and research institutions within a network of universities in all continents.

Deputy Director-General Yonov Frederick Agah, who oversees development matters in the WTO, said: “Austria’s contribution is very welcome. It will pave the way for facilitating new research and policy advice to help policymakers in developing countries and LDCs develop trade-related strategies to boost export opportunities and further their countries’ integration into the global economy.”

Austria’s Federal Minister for Digital, Business and Enterprise, Margarete Schramböck, stated: “This is Austria’s first GTF donation to the WTO Chairs Programme, one of the WTO’s technical assistance activities that Austria has followed with great interest for several years. Overall, Austria has donated over CHF 5 million to the various WTO trust funds over nearly 20 years.”