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  • ISSUE 2/2000


  • First impressions make a difference. Getting off to a good start in business negotiations is likely to influence the final agreement. Your first offer should reflect your best-case scenario, supported by first-class justification. To steer negotiations toward your goals, find out the other side's needs; think through your opening positions; and master the technique of repeated questioning.

    ITC frequently receives this question from firms and trade development institutions around the world.

    © International Trade Centre, International Trade Forum - Issue 2/2000 Harnessing the power of innovation is the central theme of this issue. In today's fast-changing trade environment, innovation is a key to competitiveness. Innovation is what allows companies to survive and thrive. Especially for se

    When ITC began researching this topic in late 1997, no information was available on services innovation in developing countries and economies in transition. ITC decided to request examples of services innovations from its partner organizations in these countries. Responses came from 26 countries, citing a total of 85 innovations. The range of countries demonstrates that much innovation is already occurring in all developmental contexts. Here are the results:

    These cases are drawn from ITC's survey on innovation among services exporters.

    Trade is growing in visibility and importance in the development agenda in international forums, donor capitals and, most importantly, in developing and transition economies themselves. WTO trade ministers in Seattle and UNCTAD member countries in Bangkok made it clear that our partner countries need much more technical assistance to integrate into the multilateral trading system. Trade-related capacity building needs to be more broadly available for governments, enterprises and business support institutions.

    ITC's Market Brief Programme offers short, structured overviews of export markets for a wide range of goods. Highlights from three market briefs are featured, along with news about ITC's Market Brief Programme.

    The lack of staff skills is the single biggest impediment to innovation success. Services and service delivery processes do not lend themselves to development by a separate unit. All staff need to be actively involved and to have an innovation mindset.One of the most common management errors is to underestimate the skills training needed so that staff can participate constructively in innovation. Investment in training will benefit the firm in the long run by eventually reducing the time needed to identify new opportunities and increasing the degree of certainty in the solution selected. There are five areas in which training is critical: stimulating creativity, assessing innovation options, focusing on the customer, designing new services and implementing change.

    Innovation is a key success factor behind all successful exporting firms. Being innovative means more than having good ideas. A serious, sustained commitment to innovation implies risk and investment. But the pay-off is tangible. In today's fast-changing trade environment, innovation is not just a matter of export profitability; it can be a matter of survival.