For use of information media - Not an official record

22 January 2004

UNCTAD is today announcing the launch of its TRAINFORTRADE project for strengthening human and institutional resources in Cambodia and Lao PDR. This four-year project, funded by the government of France (1.9 million euros), aims at developing capacities in the fields of international trade and investment in the two countries through training courses, some of them delivered via distance learning; training the trainers; and establishing training networks. Target trainees are government officials and policy makers, as well as trade and investment operators.

Sven Callebaut, UNCTAD regional expert working from Cambodia, explains: "This project is not just about training; institutional needs are identified and proposals for institutional development are made. That is where UNCTAD intends to act as facilitator to strengthen institutions by working with local and regional partners and trainees".

Lao and Cambodian authorities have defined as training priorities the following subjects: investment, trade facilitation, transport and logistics, port management, trade, environment and development, competition law and policy, and consumer protection. Training for trainers, course developers and distance learning tutors will also be delivered.

In both countries the project is being coordinated by national steering committees composed of representatives of governments, academia, business, UNCTAD and the donor country. A regional steering committee will organize activities for both countries and ensure coordination between the two national committees.

The inaugural meeting of the Cambodian Steering Committee will take place today at the Sunway Hotel in Phnom Penh from 8:30 to 12:30 in the presence of Cham Prasidh, Minister of Commerce, and will be chaired by Sok Siphana, Secretary of State for Commerce. The inaugural meeting of the Lao PDR Steering Committee was held on 17 November 2003 under the chairmanship of Siasovath Savengsuka, Vice Minister of Commerce.

TRAINFORTRADE is UNCTAD´s programme for strengthening the human and institutional capacities of developing countries through training, distance learning and networking in the fields of international trade, investment, trade-related services and port management.

For more information, please contact:
Press Office
T: +41 22 917 5828
Xavier Alphaize
T: +41 22 917 2070
or, in Cambodia:
Sven Callebaut
T: +855 12 394517


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