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WTO Launches $50 Million Fund To Empower Female Entrepreneurs

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WTO Launches $50 Million Fund To Empower Female Entrepreneurs

(CTN News) – On Sunday, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Director-General of the World Trade Organization, introduced a $50 million fund aimed at assisting female entrepreneurs in developing nations to enhance their exports through the utilization of opportunities provided by the digital economy.

This announcement precedes the 13th ministerial conference of the WTO, scheduled to commence on February 29 in the United Arab Emirates.

Joint Initiative to Empower Women in Global Trade

Okonjo-Iweala, in collaboration with Thani al-Zeyoudi, the Emirati Minister of State for Foreign Trade, emphasized that this “ground-breaking initiative” reflects their joint dedication to empowering women.

She furs to address the financial challenges confronting women. The fund’s objective is to support women-led businesses in developing countries in adopting digital technologies and expanding their online presence.

Zeyoudi pledged that his country would contribute $5 million to the women’s fund, emphasizing that “this initiative allows us to celebrate the invaluable contribution of women entrepreneurs and women-led businesses around the world and to recognize the critical role they play in driving economic growth.”

He pointed out the significant gap between women’s population representation and their contribution to global GDP, stating, “While women are one half of the world’s population, they only contribute 37 percent to the global GDP.”

Also present at the announcement was Saudi Arabian Minister of Commerce Majid al-Kasabi, who described it as a “milestone” and affirmed his country’s dedication to supporting female empowerment.


Okonjo-Iweala, echoing sentiments shared by many female entrepreneurs she has met, highlighted the persistent need for sufficient financing to scale businesses and leverage the vast opportunities of global trade.ther highlighted the necessity for catalytic solution.

$10 Million Contribution to WTO Trust Funds

During the 13th Ministerial Conference in Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs, announced the UAE’s contribution of a total of $10 million to three WTO trust funds: the Fisheries Funding Mechanism.

The Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF), and the Women Exporters in the Digital Economy (WEIDE) Fund, benefiting developing members and least-developed country (LDC) members.

DG Okonjo-Iweala expressed deep gratitude for the UAE’s generous donation, stating, “I am profoundly grateful for the UAE’s generous contribution of USD 10 million to the Fisheries Funding Mechanism, the EIF Trust Fund for LDCs, and the Women Exporters in the Digital Economy Fund, which underscores their steadfast commitment to fostering sustainable and inclusive trade.”

She further emphasized the significance of this timely contribution in bolstering collective efforts towards enhancing fisheries sustainability, facilitating trade for least-developed countries, and empowering women entrepreneurs.

Additionally, she highlighted the pivotal role of the UAE as the host of MC13 in enabling such initiatives to thrive and create a tangible impact on a global scale.


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Arsi Mughal is a staff writer at CTN News, delivering insightful and engaging content on a wide range of topics. With a knack for clear and concise writing, she crafts articles that resonate with readers. Arsi's pieces are well-researched, informative, and presented in a straightforward manner, making complex subjects accessible to a broad audience. Her writing style strikes the perfect balance between professionalism and casual approachability, ensuring an enjoyable reading experience.

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