In the one-week «crash course» on the WTO and global trade, participants were introduced to the full range of WTO issues, including development issues, WTO reform, e-commerce and the dispute settlement mechanism. Presentations were delivered by a variety of speakers, ranging from WTO delegations to directors of the WTO Secretariat.
Mr Paulo Garzotti, Deputy Permanent Representative of the European Union to the WTO, presented his view on the current trading environment. He stressed the EU’s strong faith in the WTO and said: «The multilateral way of organizing trade remains the best option that anyone could have for daily business.» He emphasized that negotiations on fisheries subsidies «are high on the EU’s agenda» because they are closely linked to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Mr Edouard Bizumuremyi, from the Rwanda mission to the WTO, underlined the development issues affecting many small and developing countries. Commenting on the ongoing discussions on WTO reform, he highlighted the importance of economic cooperation which «needs to be improved».
The course participants also visited the United Nations Offices in Geneva (UNOG), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Trade Centre (ITC).
Views of the participants
Sharon Onyango – Kenya
«I found the WTO seminar to be very interesting and very informative. When I get back home, I’ll know which WTO sources to turn to when I’m searching for trade statistics or the latest information on world trade. I’ve learned so much about the WTO that I don’t think I could have learned elsewhere.»
Bernardino Koku Avle – Ghana
«I’ve learned so much about how the WTO works and the importance of multilateralism. I now have a clear idea about the issues that have to be resolved within the trading system. The best part for me was having the chance to interact with the experts who took part in the sessions. It was great to talk face to face and to hear them answer all our questions. I can’t wait to share my knowledge when I get back to Ghana.»
Lyazzat Shatayeva – Kazakhstan
«I really appreciated the opportunity of having this crash course on trade. The organization of the event was excellent and the programme was comprehensive. I’m sure that all of us will benefit from our newly acquired knowledge when we next report on world trade. Thank you to both the WTO and FES teams for organizing this event for us.»
Nuntinee Lailaeiat – Thailand
«I have previously studied economics and trade in Singapore, the United States and China but this WTO-FES seminar has been the most useful one I have ever attended. Not only did I have a great opportunity to meet with many experts from the WTO and the UN but I also made some very good friends, who are so smart!! I will never forget the things I have learned from this seminar.»
Asjadul Kibria – Bangladesh
«Many thanks to FES and the WTO for organising this seminar. I also congratulate all the participants for making the five-day event so interactive and lively.»
Rosemary Onuoha – Nigeria
«I found the seminar to be very, very interesting. It has been so enlightening, teaching me so many things I didn’t know about the WTO. I now feel so much more knowledgeable about the activities of the WTO.»