Objectives of the programme

The main objectives of the Programme are to:

• Promote research in trade-related matters and highlight policy relevance
• Support the development and delivery of courses on international trade and provide teaching support
• Encourage outreach activities
• Collate information and promote knowledge sharing on international trade
• Establish a network of engaged academics


The WTO Chairs Programme was launched in 2010. It aims to enhance knowledge and understanding of the trading system among academics and policy makers in developing countries through curriculum development, research and outreach activities by universities and research institutions.
Academic institutions awarded WTO Chairs receive support in the areas of research, curriculum development, and outreach activities. The chair-holders are selected through a competitive process. Fourteen institutions were originally selected as WTO Chairs for a four-year term in 2009. Seven institutions were added to the Programme in May 2014. Following a call for applications for Phase 3 of the Programme, over 120 applications were received by the WTO. A selection process resulted in 17 institutions being chosen to join the network of WCP Chairs in December 2021. This further diversifies the Programme's representation across the globe, with the network now comprising 36 universities.