Building soft capacities are an imperative: WTO Deputy Director-General

19 July 2011, Geneva
Harsha Vardhan Singh, Deputy Director General of the World Trade Organisation said on Tuesday that building soft capacities like know-how of WTO negotiation process is crucial for developing and least developed countries for the their effective participation in the multilateral trade liberalisation process. He was speaking on the occasion of the launch of new publications brought out by CUTS international and the World Bank during the Third Global Review of Aid for Trade, jointly organised by the WTO and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

While the CUTS book entitled “Doha Round and South Asia: Need for Better Coordination” deals with identifying priorities for South Asian countries in the ongoing WTO negotiations as well as ways and means to share knowledge and coordinate their trade policy initiatives, the publication entitled ‘Where to Spend the Next million? Applying Impact Evaluation to Trade Assistance’ by the World Bank presents new and improved methods to assess the results of aid for trade initiatives in developing countries.

Singh commented that both books compliment each other and have come at an appropriate time when the Global Review of Aid for Trade has shown positive results of capacity building projects in terms of increase in world trade flows, which in turn has boosted economic growth and poverty reduction.

Introducing the CUTS publication, Pradeep Mehta, Secretary General of CUTS International said that the book is a result of sustained efforts of CUTS to promote economic policy cooperation in the South Asian region. The spirit of collaboration by WTO member countries from South Asia will not only bring economic benefits but will also help to derive huge peace dividends for the region.

Aaditya Mattoo and Ana Fernandes, Economists at the Development Research Group of the World Bank introduced the Bank’s publication which offered new evaluation tools to enable both donor and recipient countries to connect developmental aid to results in a better way.

Ramamurti Badrinath, Director, CUTS Geneva Resource Centre delivered the welcome address to this event, which was attended by numerous trade policy experts and delegates of WTO member countries from across the world.
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