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  • 2003-4 ISSUES

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  • ISSUE 4/2003

                                                                                                                                                      4-2003 

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  • Up to 70% of a firm's export costs result from purchasing and logistics inputs. As demand for improved quality and consistency of supply rises, following closer trade ties with European markets, the role of buyers and logistics professionals in Central and Eastern European manufacturing companies has become pivotal to profitability and survival.

    1. Publicize successes and innovations of women-owned service firms Too few Nigerian women get national or international recognition. We recommend the creation of an umbrella organization for the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that deal with women entrepreneurs, in order to help coordinate both international assistance and training for women owners of service businesses, so that they can organize themselves to be more visible; establish awards programmes; and publicize success stories of Nigerian women who own service firms.

    Ugandan women form the majority of the country's business people, in farming and small to medium-sized firms. Supportive national and local policies, and targeted international assistance, could help Ugandan women entrepreneurs increase exports and benefit the whole country.

    Most women-owned firms are in the services sector. Business training can build the expertise and confidence necessary for these firms to export their services efficiently.

    Those who celebrated the failure of the WTO Ministerial Conference in Cancún were not from the business community. Business people reacted to the news with deep concern.

    Are you looking for market overviews, trade development insights, exporter success stories or 'best practices' in developing and transition economies?

    Do you have a photo that illustrates "ITC: 40 Years of Trade Development"? As part of our 40th anniversary coverage in Trade Forum magazine, we will feature the best of your photos that illustrate your trade development efforts with ITC over the past 40 years. Winning photos will appear in our magazine, on our Internet site and at ITC headquarters. A small prize will be awarded to

    In late October 2003, Canada released the report of the Prime Minister's Task Force on Women Entrepreneurs. The task force was chaired by Sarmite Bulte, a member of Canada's parliament and former president of the Canadian Association of Women Entrepreneurs. For Trade Forum readers who design export strategies with women entrepreneurs' needs in mind, the report is a useful ref

    Scotland's economic development agency, Scottish Enterprise, created a special project called 'Scotland the Brand' in 1994, to explore the benefits of integrating the marketing of Scottish trade, tourism and culture. They had noted that country of origin can be a key factor in a consumer's purchasing decision, and that countries such as New Zealand, Ireland and Spain had developed successful branding initiatives. The challenge for Scotland was to capitalize on an existing awareness, and become more cohesive in its marketing efforts.

    Through exports, businesswomen in developing countries are creating a better future for themselves, their employees and their communities.

    Outsourcing business support services, coupled with e-trade possibilities, offers increased opportunities for women in developing and transition economies to export services.

    Access to global markets is critical to the economic security of many of the world's poor working in the informal sector. According to SEWA, in India, this sector includes home-based workers, vendors, manual labourers and service providers; it accounts for up to 70% of gross domestic product and over 40% of exports; of the total workforce, 93% operate within the informal sector, and 60% of these are women.

    What can countries do to ensure that they are ready to help small firms participate in e-business?

    Interview with Tembeka Nkamba-Van Wyk, Talking Beads AcademyA South African businesswoman spotted an opportunity when she noticed that local craft traditions were disappearing, while tourists were seeking locally-made handicrafts. In capitalizing on the opportunity, she has created an export business employing thousands of women in rural areas, and has invested in their communities by providing training and medical care.

    On 27 November 2003, ITC held an informal meeting for its stakeholders, known as the Joint Advisory Group, to highlight the activities of its Division for Product and Market Development. Under the theme "Innovation to Improve Trade Competitiveness", four sections presented their programmes and tools:

    © International Trade Centre, International Trade Forum - Issue 4/2003 It makes sense to bring women into the economic mainstream... Women are service providers, farmers, manufacturers and artisans, trading domestically and internationally. Women-owned firms are growing in number, creating employment and

    "The Association of Apparel and Textile Exporters in Bulgaria is organizing a trade show for professionals. Having read your article, can you visit Sofia and present your views and ITC information to the participants? Could we distribute your article and other relevant ITC materials to our Bulgarian member companies?"Borislav Georgiev (borislav@bia-bg.com), Director for International Economic Relations, Bulgarian Industrial Association,Bulgaria

    Report of J. Denis Bélisle, ITC's Executive Director, at the Multistakeholder Plenary Session of the World Summit on the Information Society, held in Geneva in December 2003.

    ITC and the International Federation of Purchasing and Materials Management (IFPMM) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in June 2003 to help establish and improve national institutions representing and supporting the purchasing and supply profession throughout the developing world.

    ITC and the International Federation of Purchasing and Materials Management (IFPMM) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in June 2003 to help establish and improve national institutions representing and supporting the purchasing and supply profession throughout the developing world.

    ITC's 40th Anniversary Programme will be launched at the annual meeting of its Joint Advisory Group in April 2004. A number of initiatives will be implemented over the course of the year. Updates and new initiatives will be reported regularly on ITC's web site (http://www.intracen.org) and in Trade Forum magazine

    On 1 May 2004, ITC will celebrate its 40th anniversary. This milestone presents ITC with an opportunity to review its role in support of trade development, demonstrate the impact of its work over the last 40 years, and chart its course of action for the future.

    Interview with Sulo Shrestha-Shah, Lotus HoldingsA successful businesswoman boosts business exports in Nepal by starting an investment company built on the principle of corporate social responsibility.

    ITC has developed "Leatherline", a portal responding to the information needs of the leather sector worldwide, and particularly in developing countries.

    ITC launched a new services network in December 2003 at its Geneva headquarters. "ServiceExportNet" members include representatives of 12 countries which benefited from technical assistance to promote trade in services and assist women entrepreneurs in the sector. The objectives of the network are to follow up on service exporting activities taking place in each country; to develop future strategies and workplans; to evaluate success; and to provide an ongoing networking and support venue for member countries. ITC hopes to double the size of the network each year and hold an annual meeting.

    Textiles and Clothing: What Happens After 2005? This article inForum's trade talks issue (2/2003) interested many readers. With quotas ending in 2005, many producers - and even countries - risk disappearing as garment suppliers in an oversupplied market. As a follow-up, we share a sample of your reactions, highlight ITC's recommendations for action and outline the technical assistance it can offer.

    Since 1964, the International Trade Centre (ITC) has been helping the business sectors of developing and transition economies to realize their full potential to develop exports. Through export growth, our ultimate goal is to assist these countries to achieve sustainable human development.

    ITC researched trade-related initiatives aimed at women that exist within the United Nations (UN) system, other international organizations and major non-governmental organizations (NGOs). In the following tables, researchers on women and trade development can find background and contact information for relevant initiatives, as well as links to research material available online. This selection focuses on some initiatives that help women participate in international business.

    It's a charged topic: many Trade Forum readers will come to it with a firm opinion, based on their own life experiences. Some of us believe that no differences exist between men and women in international business, some champion 'empowerment' at every opportunity, while others espouse the many shades of grey between these two

    Interview with Gisèle Yitamben, ASAFEIn Cameroon, ASAFE, a national organization of women entrepreneurs, is helping businesswomen to overcome economic and social vulnerability by providing business training, establishing contacts with other networks and designing export strategies for its members.

    Interview with Gisèle Yitamben, ASAFEIn Cameroon, ASAFE, a national organization of women entrepreneurs, is helping businesswomen to overcome economic and social vulnerability by providing business training, establishing contacts with other networks and designing export strategies for its members.

    The first World TPO Awards - newly established international awards to recognize excellence in national trade promotion - will be presented at the 5th World Conference of Trade Promotion Organizations in Malta on 1-2 October 2004. National trade promotion organizations (TPOs) are eligible for the awards and their representatives will also select the winners.