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    JITAP Partners Review Cooperation Programme


    © International Trade Centre, International Trade Forum - Issue 1/2006

    © WTO

    Sixteen African countries relate their experiences during the WTO Hong Kong Ministerial meeting.

    Partners of the Joint Integrated Technical Assistance Programme (JITAP) of ITC, UNCTAD and WTO met at the 6th WTO Ministerial Conference (Hong Kong, China, December 2005). Recipient and donor countries reviewed this programme that helps African countries integrate into the multilateral trading system.

    Trade opportunities are clearer

    All 16 African countries that benefited from the programme now have a clearer vision of the export opportu-nities that can come with better market access. Public and private sectors jointly participate in formulating export strategies for products such as cassava, hides and skins, textiles, fish products, fruit and vegetables.

    The programme also helped countries to strengthen their national bodies dealing with trade negotiations, by informing and involving more actively the private sector and other civil society groups in preparing international trade negotiations. The programme trained over 360 staff in preparing technical studies and negotiation strat-egies for global and regional trade talks. It has created or strengthened more than 50 specialized trade information points with access to international trade sources, including UNCTAD, WTO and ITC. Another 50 such points will be set up before the end of 2006. Several African trade ministers underlined how the multi-agency programme helped coordinate trade-related technical assistance activities in their countries.

    The programme is now in its second phase. The original eight beneficiary countries left the programme on 31 December 2005. The additional eight countries are in a foundation stage.

    Source: Adapted from WTO press release of 14 December 2005: "Technical assistance: Recipients and donors review cooperation programme"

    For more information, see the JITAP web site: http://www.jitap.org