A partnership with academia

Building knowledge for trade and development


altThe Azerbaijan State Economic University has been chosen by the World Trade Organization as the site of the newest WTO Reference Centre, a dedicated repository of documentation outfitted with state-of-the-art technology to facilitate access to the organization's online documentation and learning opportunities. The Centre was officially opened on April 6 in Baku.

The Reference Centre Programme of the Institute for Training and Technical Cooperation (ITTC) has opened some 150 centres in more than 100 countries since its establishment in 1997.

The opening ceremony counted with the participation of Shamsaddin Hajiyev, Rector of ASEU; Mahmud Mamed-Guliyev, Deputy-minister of Foreign Affairs; Elmar Gasimov, Deputy-minister of Education; Mustapha Sadni Jallab, Head of the WTO RC Programme, and Matthew Baker, Chief Librarian of the WTO.

Vi member coordinator at ASEU, Shahin Bayramov, has been named WTO Reference Centre Manager.

A WTO RC is defined as dedicated physical location open to government officials, business representatives, university professors, students and/or the general public where any relevant information on the WTO can be accessed via the WTO Internet site, on CD-ROMs, and in print or electronic format.
In order to establish a reference centre, the beneficiary and the Secretariat sign an exchange of letters, based on a set of guidelines, which determine the modalities for the RC. Each RC has an RC manager, who is responsible for its daily operation, including dissemination of information.
RCs can be established at the level of the government, i.e. at a Ministry, or at a university for the academic community, or business organization, such as a chamber of commerce.
RCs are equipped with IT equipment (PCs, printers, photocopiers, scanners), books, CDs, DVDs and any relevant WTO related documentation. Beneficiaries receive full access to WTO databases, publications and training materials on WTO Agreements. The cost of the equipment is covered by the WTO Secretariat for LDCs, and for RCs established at governmental and academic institutions.
The implementation of the RC programme is managed through the regional ITTC desks, with the support of the head of the programme.
Periodic reports will be prepared to monitor progress and achievements.