9 DECEMBER 2020, Sweden: The government of Sweden is pledging SEK 40 million (approximately CHF 4.2 million) over the period 2020-2023 to help developing and least-developed countries (LDCs) participate more actively in agricultural trade. This grant to the Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF) aims to support developing countries in complying with international food safety, animal and plant health standards. The objective is to increase their access to global and regional markets and contribute to sustainable economic growth, food security and poverty reduction, in line with the STDF’s Strategy (2020-2024).
The STDF is a global coordination platform that connects diverse public and private sector organizations across agriculture, health, trade and development to share experiences, identify opportunities for collaboration and promote a more coherent approach to sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) capacity development.
The STDF provides support and funding for the development and implementation of collaborative and innovative SPS projects that promote compliance with international standards and other SPS requirements. The STDF was established by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the World Bank Group, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the WTO, which houses and manages the STDF partnership.
WTO Deputy Director-General Alan Wolff said: “We thank Sweden for this generous contribution, which will help developing countries and LDCs to maximize the benefits of trade by improving their ability to comply with SPS requirements. Sweden is one of the biggest contributors to our technical assistance activities and is demonstrating once more its continued commitment to helping developing countries and LDCs participate more actively in global agricultural markets.”
Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Trade Anna Hallberg noted: “For Sweden, international trade is the key to development, and I am happy we are able to continue our long-term commitment to developing countries by supporting the STDF. It is an important part of our support within the broader framework of Aid for Trade to further integrate these countries so that they fully benefit from the possibilities presented through global trade.”
Overall, Sweden has donated just over CHF 56 million to the various WTO trust funds over nearly 20 years.