Formed in 1964, ITC improves small business export success in developing countries by providing, with partners, sustainable and inclusive trade development solutions to exporters, trade support institutions and policymakers. ITC is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations.
ITC concentrates on strengthening the “soft” infrastructure related to international trade, and provides capacity building at three levels to assist developing and transition countries to improve the use of trade as a tool for development:
• Enterprises: to foster a vibrant, innovative and globally competitive private sector that offers a more diverse array of products and services in sectors that promote job creation and sustainability.
• TSIs: to assist in reducing the costs of doing business, providing access to information, and to be the link between the private sector and government, including providing an effective voice for the private sector in policy formulation discussions with governments.
• Policymakers: to provide input to policymaking that places the emphasis on the need to build export strategies on a foundation of public-private partnerships, developing a conducive business environment and facilitating access to global markets.
FIVE BUSINESS LINES:
• Business and trade policy
• Export strategy
• Trade Support Institutions (TSI) strengthening
• Trade intelligence
• Exporter competitiveness
Our aim is for businesses in developing countries to become more competitive in global markets, speeding economic development and contributing to the achievement of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
• Contributing to poverty reduction by boosting trade is a key objective of ITC’s trade related technical assistance (TRTA). This is also the focus of the Aid for Trade agenda, which underpins ITCs activities and responds to the developmental needs of the countries we work with.
ITC actively engages the private sector within the multilateral trading system. We are committed to building export success for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing and transition countries. We facilitate export development that assures commercial viability of individual companies, empowers women economically, and works towards inclusive economic, social and environmental sustainability.
With more than 40 years of hands-on trade and business experience in the developing world, ITC has a focused approach towards export-led poverty reduction. This is how we achieve Export Impact for Good.
ITC’S ROLE IN UN AND WTO:
ITC has been the focal point within the United Nations system for trade related technical assistance (TRTA).
In line with our joint mandate from the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United Nations through the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), we support our parent organizations’ regulatory, research and policy strategies. We focus on implementing and delivering practical TRTA projects.
Along with our United Nations family and partner organizations, we continue to connect ITC projects and programmes with global efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and the Aid for Trade agenda. ITC remains the only international organization focused solely on trade development for developing and transition economies. To deliver effective trade-related technical assistance (TRTA) and to achieve the goal of expanding exports requires all the major players, including ITC, to develop effective working partnerships as well as greater levels of coherence and coordination. Our goal is to build on our capabilities and that of our partners to bring about even greater development impact.
AID FOR TRADE AND MDGs
ITC works with its institutional partners WTO and UNCTAD to promote and implement Aid for Trade, focusing especially on delivering Aid for Trade services to LDCs. In fact, all of the organization’s projects are filtered through Aid for Trade criteria and ITC is therefore considered to be a “100% Aid for Trade institution”, unique in the international system because of its primary focus on the private sector.
The MDGs have served as critical benchmarks for ITC in its efforts to reduce poverty and enhance the competitiveness of enterprises in poor communities by promoting their integration into the global value chain.
By “Targeting the Millennium Development Goals” with all of ITC’s work, the Strategic Plan 2010 – 2013 clearly reflects our commitment to support partners in achieving their MDGs through more equitable and sustainable trade.
WHERE WE WORK:
The regions in which ITC works are;
o Western and Central Africa
o Eastern and Southern Africa
o Eastern Europe and Central Asia
o Latin America
o The Caribbean
o Southeast Asia
o The Pacific
o South and East Asia
o Arab States
LEAST DEVELOPED COUNTRIES:
ITC helps developing countries to achieve sustainable human development through export. We are the largest multilateral team dedicated entirely to trade-related technical assistance in developing countries, with a special emphasis on Least Developed Countries. LDCs accounted for 48% of ITC’s delivery in 2009, up by five percentage points from 2008.
Ongoing ITC activities in LDCs-
LDCs benefit from programmes that relate to all of ITC’s five business lines, namely Business & Trade Policy, Export Strategy, Strengthening Institutions, Trade Intelligence and Exporter Competitiveness. Programmes and projects supporting LDCs include :
o Programme for building African Capacity for Trade (PACT II) aims at strengthening regional integration and export competitiveness in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), including their member LDCs. It is funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).
o The Ethical Fashion programme, with pilot projects in Kenya and Uganda, aims at involving groups of micro-producers from marginalized communities in an approach to reduce poverty and empower women.
o The Trade at Hand programme, piloted in Uganda, Tanzania and Liberia, is a mobile phone-based business-matching service that facilitates transactions between agricultural producers and traders by linking the producers to markets and to market information.
o The Intra-regional (“South-South”) Trade programme aims to promote trade and investment among developing countries and transition economies by creating linkages among them, identifying trade and investment opportunities and translating them into business transactions and by bringing importers and exporters together.
o The All ACP Agricultural Commodities Programme (AAACP), implemented jointly with the World Bank, UNCTAD, CFC and FAO, launched in 2007 under the joint coordination of the European Commission and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Secretariat. As part of the programme, ITC leads the design and implementation of food and cotton market development strategies that benefit most of the world’s LDCs in Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific.
o The Export-led Poverty Reduction Programme (EPRP) aims at linking poor communities to world markets by integrating them into value chains of products and services from organic cultivation through handicrafts to inclusive tourism. Currently EPRP projects are implemented in 12 LDCs and have benefited 38,000 poor people.
o The recently launched Tourism-Led Poverty Reduction Programme (TPRP) identifies existing tourist destinations surrounded by poor communities and identifies opportunities to link the poor to tourism markets. Pilot projects in Senegal, Mozambique and Lao PDR have led to nation-wide replication.
o WTO accession support for LDCs is a priority for ITC, which also assists the business community in understanding the business implications of the accession. Our programme assists enterprises, including SMEs, in articulating their priorities and needs in the negotiations.
o Under the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF), ITC provides capacity building for LDCs’ National Implementation Units and is currently supporting seven LDC governments in the formulation of TRTA projects to be implemented by ITC. Additionally ITC has contributed significantly to the updating of the Diagnostic Trade Integration Studies in Rwanda and Nepal.
LAND-LOCKED DEVELOPING COUNTRIES:
Land-locked developing countries (LLDCs) are widely dispersed around the globe: 15 in Africa, five in Asia, seven in Central Asia, two in Latin America and two in Central and Eastern Europe. All LLDCs lack direct access to major shipping routes, and they are often among the most disadvantaged developing countries, and indeed, some are least developed countries (LDCs). ITC is helping LLDCs meet their export challenges through the following services.
o Mainstreaming trade into national development
o Vertically integrated sector development
SMALL ISLAND DEVELOPING STATES:
Fluctuations in the global economy. Natural disasters. Climate change. These are but a few of the challenges that Small Island Developing States (SIDS) face when it comes to exports. ITC works with SIDS to improve their export performance through regional collaboration, focused sectoral programmes, institutional support and strengthening the private sector.
ITC IN NUMBER IN 2009:
o 100% Of ITC’s technical assistance works for Aid for Trade
o 46 Years of assisting developing and transition countries to achieve sustainable human development through export
o US$ 34.6 m Total extrabudgetary expenditure
o US$ 32.9 m Total regular budget expenditure
o US$ 15.2 m Total extrabudgetary expenditure on LDCs, LLDCs, SIDS and SSA
o 172 Operational projects in 2009
Where is World Trade Organization - International Trade Centre