Trinidad and Tobago is hosting the WTO Regional Trade Policy Course for Caribbean WTO members and observers. The course, running from 17 July to 8 September, is being carried out in partnership with the University of West Indies (UWI), St Augustine Campus.
WTO Trinidad + Tobago
In a pre-recorded video message, WTO Deputy Director-General Xiangchen Zhang told participants at the course’s opening that the training programme was an opportunity for them to reflect on the workings of the international trading system.
“This regional course will place a specific focus on the regional trade policy context and its linkages with the WTO agreements. It will also allow you to discuss how the multilateral trading system can be strengthened, reformed and modernised. I think this is a very important reflection — which is particularly in tune with the global debate on the relevance of the global trading system,” DDG Zhang said.
The eight-week capacity building programme is the second Regional Trade Policy Course held in the Caribbean in collaboration with the University of West Indies (UWI), St Augustine Campus, building on the first collaboration in 2019.
“The establishment of this course is a testament to the strong partnership between the WTO and the UWI, demonstrating our shared commitment to advancing trade policies and fostering regional integration,” said Dr Acolla Lewis-Cameron, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences of the UWI.
“To the participants, I encourage you to make the most of this invaluable opportunity,” Dr Lewis-Cameron continued. “The knowledge gained here will enhance your personal and professional development and contribute to the collective advancement of trade in the Caribbean.”
Drawn from 10 countries across the Caribbean, the 18 participants are government officials currently working on WTO issues, all eager to gain a broader understanding of the WTO and the multilateral trading system with a view to taking on further responsibilities in this area.
“It is good to see a wide range of Caribbean professionals having registered for this very significant area of training. This is an indication of your foresight, vision and understanding of the requirements to be effective and competitive in an evolving global trade environment,” said Dr Jacqueline Laguardia-Martinez, Acting Director of the Institute of International Relations of the UWI.
The Regional Trade Policy courses are intermediate level programmes within the curriculum offered by the WTO Secretariat. They are aimed at participants from developing and least-developed countries, as part of the WTO Technical Assistance progressive learning strategy, which allows the participants to move progressively to higher levels of learning.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) deals with the global rules of trade between nations. Its main function is to ensure that trade flows as smoothly, predictably and freely as possible.