By Bimbola Oyesola
The Netherlands has committed just over CHF4.3 million to extend the Netherlands Trainee Programme for another five years, covering the period from 1 January, 2023, to 30 , 2028. Under this programme, the World Trade Organization (WTO) said approximately 15 government officials from developing and least-developed countries (LDCs) benefit each year from working in various divisions of the WTO Secretariat.
According to WTO, the Netherlands Trainee Programme allows trade officials to gain valuable experience of the economic and development aspects of trade policy by participating in the work of the WTO Secretariat.
More than 200 government officials from developing countries have taken part in the programme since its inception in March 2005.
WTO Director-General, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said: “This renewed commitment from the Netherlands towards financing the Netherlands Trainee Programme is very welcome. The funding will enable capital-based officials from developing countries and LDCs to gain hands-on experience of WTO activities so that they can help their countries participate more fully in global trade.”
The Netherlands’ Deputy Permanent Representative to the WTO, Marcel Vernooij, said: “We are pleased to extend our partnership with the WTO. The Netherlands is committed to increasing the integration of developing countries and LDCs into global value chains and the global economy. Promoting inclusive trade as an engine for sustainable growth and job creation is a high priority for our trainee programme.”
The previous agreement was signed on 18 October 2018 and expired on 31 December 2022. The initial agreement was signed on 24 March 2005 and was intended to last for five years but has been continuously renewed since then.
The WTO said the Netherlands has donated approximately CHF 45 million to the various WTO trust funds over 15 years.