Seventh Meeting of Ministers of Trade of the Hemisphere
1 November 2002
18. In support of the FTAA, we approve the Hemispheric Cooperation Program as a priority of all our governments. The Program is intended to strengthen the capacities of those countries seeking assistance to participate in the negotiations, implement their trade commitments, and address the challenges and maximize the benefits of hemispheric integration, including productive capacity and competitiveness in the region. We note that the Program includes a mechanism to assist these countries to develop national and/or sub-regional trade capacity building strategies that define, prioritize and articulate their needs and programs pursuant to those strategies, and to identify sources of financial and non-financial support. We instruct the TNC, with the support of the CGSE, to supervise the HCP. We commit to complete national and/or sub-regional trade capacity building strategies and the related programs in order to make expeditious progress under the HCP, and to assist in the identification of predictable and multifaceted sources of financial and non-financial support for meeting the objectives of the HCP. While these strategies are being prepared, the HCP will also respond to immediate assistance needs for the purpose of strengthening the participation of countries in the negotiations. We further instruct the TNC, with the support of the Tripartite Committee, to facilitate meetings of the CGSE, inviting appropriate development and financial officials, international financial institutions, international agencies, and interested private entities, to discuss financing and implementation of the HCP and to report to us at our next meeting.