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  • 2001-2 ISSUES

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  • ISSUE 2/2001

                                                                                                                                                      2-2001 

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  • Nearly 900 participants from 108 countries enthusiastically debated this question during a recent ITC electronic discussion forum (23-27 April 2001). All summaries of the discussion were e-mailed to participants in their target languages and posted on the discussion web site (http://www.tpo-worldnet.com/ediscforum.htm) in three languages.

    - Sustainable forest management is "the stewardship and use of forests and forest lands in a way, and at a rate, that maintains their biodiversity, productivity, regeneration capacity, vitality and their potential to fulfil, now and in the future, relevant ecological, economic and social functions, at local, national and global levels, and that does not cause damage to other ecosystems". (Definition of the Helsinki Declaration of the Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe, 1993.)

    For more information about certification and mutual recognition, see the following web sites:

    Voluntary forest management certification and associated wood labelling schemes are becoming accepted as a way to help markets contribute to the conservation of tropical and other types of forests.

    Waste generated in houses, apartments and other dwellings is placed in doorways for collection by garbage trucks. Before the truck arrives, however, the garbage has normally been picked over for valuable material by private "rag-pickers" searching for items they can use or sell.

    Consider environmental issues in procurement to reduce total costs and make your enterprise more competitive.

    The European Union (EU) imports some 1,200 tonnes of cardamom annually for a total value of about US$ 6 million. Guatemalan exporters provide about 80% of EU requirements. Other suppliers include India and Papua New Guinea. The leading markets in the EU are Sweden, Finland, Germany and the United Kingdom.

    Value-added wood exports have a bright future. The value of further-processed wood exports from producer countries of the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) totalled just under US$ 4.2 billion in 1996-1997, the highest points recorded in COMTRADE statistics so far. The following year (1998) saw a 17% drop to US$ 3.5 billion. Despite the lack of comprehensive data for 1999, it is believed that exports stabilized in most countries. Some reported vigorous export growth during 1999-2000.

    This issue focuses on trade and the environment. The aim is to encourage you, our readers, to think about becoming environmentally sensitive in your international business development practices.

    WTO agreements The World Trade Organization (WTO) has no specific agreement dealing with the environment. However, a number of the WTO agreements include provisions dealing with environmental concerns. The increased emphasis on environmental policies is relatively recent. At the end of the Uruguay Round in 1994, trade ministers from participating countries decided to begin a comprehensive work programme on trade and environment in the WTO. They created the WTO Committee on Trade and Environment. This is the main committee that discusses trade implications of national environmental measures. Issues addressed include:

    © International Trade Centre, International Trade Forum - Issue 2/2001 Debriefing session with SETI 2001 participants and ITC staff. For the second time, ITC promoted IT exporters in developing countries and economies in transition at the European Week of Information Technologies (SETI 2001, Pari

    ITC officially launched its "E-trade Bridge" programme at its annual intergovernmental meeting, the Joint Advisory Group (Geneva, 30 April to 4 May 2001). The meeting also launched its "new" web site, which was redesigned to better serve ITC's clients.

    ITC's environment-related activities concentrate directly on the needs and concerns of our principal constituents - the business communities of developing and transition economies and the trade support institutions serving these communities. While ITC does not have a specific environmental programme, it has an amazing number of activities, publications and information services that directly relate to the environment.

    ITC supports developing and transition economies in their efforts to compete effectively in the international marketplace. We strongly believe that this contributes to sustainable development and we are committed to providing first-class technical support initiatives impacting on both trade performance and overall development.

    Historically, packaging was mainly used to transport goods, particularly foodstuffs, from their place of manufacture direct to the customer. Packaging later became prominent in the preserving of food products for longer periods. The packaging revolution has continued, catering to an ever-expanding range of consumer products that are sold through ever-widening chains of distribution.

    India's Department of Science and Technology, in collaboration with a public-sector unit, initiated a pilot project on Integrated Waste Management (IWM) in Mumbai. A prototype fuel "pelletization" plant was engineered, procured and erected with entirely indigenous inputs.

    In 2000, ITC won an award at the World Bank's Development Marketplace competition for innovative ideas for poverty reduction (see Forum 1/2000). The winning project, "Empowerment of Rural Communities to Export Organic Spices from India" uses Export Production Villages to organize smallholder spice producers, build partnerships with local NGOs, and ultimately provide access for rural villages to higher-value export markets for organic products.

    Packaging is a vital sector of most national economies. It consumes large quantities of resources. Because of packaging's often limited life span, these resources (of materials and energy) are viewed in some quarters as being wasted. As a result, there is increasing pressure to minimize packaging volumes and make it reusable, or at least recyclable to recover materials or save energy. Growing realization of the need to plan for a sustainable future is creating the climate for an era of dramatic change in this industry.

    The world's major retailers of wood products are increasingly adopting policies which favour certified wood products, and are communicating their policies more explicitly.

    Though hardly known to the general public, environmental technologies, products and services have, in 20 years, grown to match the aerospace and pharmaceutical industries in size - a US$ 450 billion global market in 2000. By 2010 it is expected to expand to US$ 640 billion. Developing and emerging markets represent over 15% of this total.

    © International Trade Centre, International Trade Forum - Issue 2/2001 Responding to a request from the National Centre for Trade Information (NCTI) in New Delhi, ITC organized a regional workshop and three local follow-up seminars on "Trade Information and E-Commerce" in India. The workshop (New Delhi, 23-26

    Modern consumer packaging, designed to present well-protected and undamaged goods for display and sale on store shelves, may not be practical in countries such as Zimbabwe, where bar-code readers are as yet mostly absent from the retail system. Additional handling, with resultant damage to the product and its packaging, may therefore occur, as package units have to be individually priced before transfer to the display shelves. This means that the local manufacturers often prefer more robust packaging, which is also, as a rule, less attractive and more expensive.