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World Trade Organization initiates $50 million fund to support female entrepreneurs in DCs to enhance exports

This initiative was unveiled ahead of the 13th ministerial conference of the WTO, scheduled to commence on February 29 in the United Arab Emirates.

ABU DHABI: Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), introduced a $50 million fund aimed at bolstering female entrepreneurship in developing nations by leveraging the potential of the digital economy for exports expansion.

This initiative was unveiled ahead of the 13th ministerial conference of the WTO, scheduled to commence on February 29 in the United Arab Emirates.

Okonjo-Iweala, joined by Thani al-Zeyoudi, the Emirati Minister of State for Foreign Trade, emphasized that this pioneering endeavor symbolizes a shared commitment to empowering women.

Asserting the necessity of innovative solutions to address the financial challenges confronting women, Okonjo-Iweala stated, “We need catalytic solutions to solve the financing issue that women face.”

The fund aims to facilitate the adoption of digital technologies and enhance the online presence of female-led businesses in developing nations.

Al-Zeyoudi pledged a $5 million contribution from the UAE, underscoring the importance of recognizing the invaluable contributions of women entrepreneurs worldwide and their pivotal role in driving economic progress.

He highlighted the significant disparity, noting that while women represent half of the global population, they contribute only 37 percent to the global GDP.

Majid al-Kasabi, the Saudi Arabian Minister of Commerce, hailed the initiative as a “milestone” and reiterated his country’s unwavering commitment to supporting female empowerment.

Okonjo-Iweala, echoing the sentiments of many female entrepreneurs she has encountered, emphasized their consistent plea for sufficient financing to scale their businesses and capitalize on the vast opportunities offered by global trade.

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I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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