Global Policy Forum

China Gives a USD 400,000 Programme for Least Development Countries


China has pledged $400,000 to help least-developed countries join the World Trade Organization under the Aid for Trade Initiative of the WTO. The funds will finance countries’ membership trial periods while they are applying to the WTO, allow for a Round Table Meeting of the WTO Accession Division, and assist countries’ delegates in attending WTO meetings. China’s ambassador to the WTO, Yi Xiaozhun, says the move signals China’s commitment “to South-South cooperation with other developing countries within the framework of the multilateral trading system.” While assisting least-developed countries to develop and benefit from the multilateral trading system is commendable, the WTO still needs to consider the impact of its trade policies on least-developed countries.

The Financial
July 15, 2011

China announced on 14 July 2011 that it is contributing USD 400,000 to set up a programme to help least-developed countries (LDCs) participate more effectively in the World Trade Organization while assisting those not yet members to negotiate membership.

Known as “China’s LDCs and Accessions Programme” (The China Programme), the initiative was agreed with the WTO when a memorandum of understanding was signed by WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy and China’s Ambassador to the WTO, Yi Xiaozhun on 14 July 2011. The financial contribution is China’s fourth under Aid for Trade since 2008.

“This contribution demonstrates a firm commitment from China to help other developing countries — especially the Least-developed — benefit fully from the multilateral trading system and integrate better into the global economy,” said Director-General Lamy. “WTO Membership has delivered significant benefits for many developing countries, including China itself.  As we celebrate the 10th anniversary of China's accession, this generous donation is timely and welcome.”

The programme aims at strengthening least-developed countries’ participation in WTO activities and helping those not yet members to more easily join the WTO.

The China Programme will finance the internships for least-developed country candidates in the WTO’s Accessions Division, which deals with countries applying to join the WTO. It will also fund a WTO Accession Round Table Meeting and the participation of least-developed countries’ delegates in selected WTO meetings that are a priority for them.

Mr Yi said: “China is committed to South-South cooperation with other developing countries within the framework of the multilateral trading system. LDCs, as the most vulnerable group in the WTO urgently needing our help, will be the core beneficiary of this newly-established Chinese programme. This contribution once again demonstrates China’s firm commitment to the objective of common development with LDCs and its consistent support for the Aid for Trade Initiative of the WTO.”

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