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    Using the Services Exports Web Site

     

     
     
    © International Trade Centre, International Trade Forum - Issue 1/2001

    ITC's Services Exporting Homepage has features designed specifically for industry associations, to support their efforts. Below are ways associations can use this site to attract new members and retain current members in an increasingly competitive market.

    Training

    Most of your members will not have had an opportunity to receive training on techniques for services marketing or services exporting, as such training is still relatively new. Three sections can help:

    • Help with Services Exporting: information on a wide range of topics, from designing promotional materials to export market strategies.

    • About Services Trade: links to sites with information on trade negotiations to liberalize market access.

    • Success Stories: ideas for members to become innovative in their own services export delivery.

    What you can do:

    • Newsletter announcement. Publicize this site in your association's newsletter (for sample text, contact slessor@intracen.org).

    • Series of articles. Use the site's content to create a series of brief articles on services exporting tips for your association newsletter (please send a copy to domeisen@intracen.org).

    • Roundtable. Sponsor a workshop or roundtable on services exporting issues, drawing on material from the Services Exporting Homepage.

    Promoting your market

    Most of the site's information is general, targeting a broad range of countries. Your association can help by suggesting supplementary country-specific content, contacts, conferences and other trade events, to ensure that the site's worldwide audience becomes more familiar with your market as an important provider of services exports.

    What you can do:

    • Review the site's Contacts for Information section and propose additional useful contacts in your home market.

    • Review the site's Events section and add upcoming service industry conferences or trade events in your home market. Send information to ITC regularly to post in the Events section.

    Publicity

    You can use the Services Exporting Homepage in several ways to make the capabilities of your members more visible:

    • Association Assistance is a section that allows you to post information on association activities, such as export awards.

    • Finding a Partner allows you to create a link to your association's web site (if you already have one), upload your association's membership directory, and/or list your members (with links to their web sites if they exist).

    • Success stories are inspiring to read as well as being very practical marketing tools. Lessons can always be extracted from the experiences of others and applied to one's own goals and circumstances. The Success Stories section supports this exchange of international export experience, and allows ITC to create a database of examples of success.

    What you can do:

    • Success Stories template. If members are willing to submit their own success stories, provide a template for what to include in a success story and tell them to submit their stories electronically.

    • Investigate local successes. If members are unwilling/unable to submit their own success stories, interview selected members who you know have had export success in order to gather information for a success story. Draft the success story and, with approval of the firm, submit the story electronically to the site administrator.

    • Links. If your association has a web site, contact ITC and request a link to your association's homepage, and offer a reciprocal link from your site to the Services Exporting Homepage as a further service to your membership.

    • Send announcements to ITC's site. Post information on activities such as services export excellence awards on the Services Exporting Homepage as they occur.

    • Encourage exchange of contacts. Contact ITC for assistance in uploading your association's membership directory and/or listing your members in the partnering database.

    Identifying export opportunities

    Sector Profiles is a section with industry-specific global market profiles which highlight market size, trends, market information, niche export strategies, and on-line resources for selected service industries. These profiles were developed specifically for use by developing and transitional economy service firms.

    What you can do:

    If your members have access to the Internet: Post a notice in your newsletter or send an electronic message announcing the existence of the profiles and instructions on how to download the information.

    If your members do not have access to the Internet: Distribute profiles to your membership by mail or fax, and/or make copies available at conferences and association events (please credit ITC).

    Tracking events

    It is difficult and time-consuming for firms to research and monitor sector-specific international events and international funding for key projects. Your association can provide a valuable service by tracking such information through the Services Exporting Homepage and selectively advising your members.

    What you can do:

    • Check the Events section regularly. Notify members directly or through your newsletter of upcoming international events of possible interest.

    • Monitor the Bulletin Board for export opportunities posted and then notify your members.

    • Monitor Help in Services Exporting to identify bidding opportunities for your members.

    Engaging trade officers

    Most trade officers are much less familiar with how to promote services exports than they are with promoting goods exports. In fact, they may be unaware that different strategies are needed. Helping them become aware of the Services Exporting Homepage and its contents can help them be more supportive of your members' exporting initiatives.

    What you can do:

    • Contact your government. Promote the Services Exporting Homepage and its contents to trade officers in your Ministry of Trade and your Export Development Agency.

    • Send them relevant information. Monitor information on the About

    Services Trade section and forward it as appropriate to selected trade officers.

    Dorothy Riddle, an ITC consultant on export services development, can be reached at driddle@compuserve.com

    Service Exporting Homepage

    Information and Contacts for Service Exporters in Developing and Transition Economies

    http://www.intracen.org/servicexport

    What is it?

    A "one-stop" resource to help service companies develop and expand their ability to export services.

    The Homepage provides information on all service categories and sub-sectors as defined under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), concluded as part of the Uruguay Round. It offers help on bidding and tracking internationally-funded projects and contains a list of important Internet links relating to services markets and marketing.

    The One-stop Shop features information, links and contacts that allows visitors to share information, identify export opportunities, locate strategic partners, develop international linkages, learn from international success stories, exchange ideas, discuss challenges and provide advice and solutions.

    Who is it for?

    Service enterprises, professional associations and governments.

    Access to the One-stop Shop is available to everyone. Listing on the enterprise database is limited to developing countries and economies in transition. Business opportunities sought and offered by enterprises in industrialized countries are displayed on the on-line bulletin board.

    For more information:

    Peter Slessor, Trade in Services. Tel.: +41 22 730 0517; fax: +41 22 730 0578; e-mail: slessor@intracen.org