Commonwealth Secretariat wins 11m Euros for trade project from European Union
30 July 2003
The Commonwealth Secretariat will receive €11 million from the European Commission as part of the EU's trade related assistance programme for Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries.
The Commonwealth will use the €11 million to fund its "Hubs and Spokes" project in collaboration with the Agence Intergouvernementale de la Francophonie (AIF), in total worth €17 million over the next four years.
The "Hubs and Spokes" project, already piloted in the Pacific, is an innovative network of ACP senior advisers based in the secretariats of regional organisations (the "hubs") who will coordinate networks of advisers ("spokes") installed in trade ministries of individual countries.
Commonwealth Secretary-General Don McKinnon has warmly welcomed the approval of the project: "In making this funding available, the European Union is demonstrating its confidence in the Commonwealth and the Secretariat's ability to deliver results. We are determined to succeed so that developing countries can share in the benefits of globalisation". He said many ACP countries are engaged in trade negotiations in different forums which often stretches their limited negotiating capacity to breaking point.
Note to editors
The pilot phase of the "Hub and Spokes" programme run by the Commonwealth Secretariat has involved the placement of senior trade advisor James Gosselin in the Pacific Islands Forum, who coordinates advisers working in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, and Vanuatu.
The European Commission has committed €50 million over the next six years for Trade.Com, its programme aimed at enhancing the capacity of ACP countries and regions to deal with World Trade Organisation and other trade policy issues at national, regional and multilateral levels.