WTO and FIFA sign memorandum of understanding for economic and social development

The World Trade Organization (WTO) and the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) have agreed to collaborate by exchanging views on their respective activities and developing joint strategies and projects in areas of common interest.

With regard to the WTO cotton programme, the WTO and FIFA will explore the possibilities of enhancing the participation of the “Cotton Four” (C4) countries (Burkina Faso, Benin, Chad and Mali) and other LDCs cotton producers in global football apparel value chains.

The two organizations will also work together on the development of publications, including a joint study on the economic impact of football and its role in unlocking the potential for global economic growth, and will explore options for the development of strengthening activities capacities that support the use of football as a tool for empowering women, especially in LDCs.

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Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director General of the WTO, said: “I am really excited to work with FIFA to try to leverage the cotton sector in a positive way for poor developing countries such as Cotton 4. I am really excited that the collaboration with FIFA can help us further integrate these countries into the global cotton value chain. I am also excited about the idea of ​​working on women’s empowerment. We have a big sport economy, and to the extent that we can leverage that through trade to support women, that’s a positive signal.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino said: “FIFA redistributes its income among our 211 member associations to help them develop football in their countries by investing in infrastructure, facilities, competitions, refereeing and training. Yet we believe football can still do more, especially for young people in developing countries. This important partnership can help us find ways in which football can further promote sustainable development so that everyone can benefit from the global football economy.

On behalf of the C4 countries, as well as Côte d’Ivoire and all African countries and LDCs producing and exporting cotton, Ambassador Ahmad Makaila of the Republic of Chad welcomed this “excellent initiative” undertaken as part of the cooperation between FIFA and the WTO.

“For the C4, the signing of the Agreement between the WTO and FIFA reinforces a common vision, an inclusive and lasting partnership and a choice to favor cooperation and negotiation at the WTO in the search for the most appropriate solutions. to the issue of cotton,” he added. declared. “This strong cooperation is more than ever essential to ensure that our countries recover from the many crises we are currently facing, undertake better reconstruction and contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which will remain in force until 31 December 2027, the WTO and FIFA will exchange information and expertise on the economic dimension of football, by participating in conferences, at regular meetings and by contributing to studies. Once a year, a joint review will be undertaken to assess the collaboration and identify specific activities or projects to be implemented the following year. These activities and projects will be reflected in a collaboration plan.

Joel C. Hicks