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  • ISSUE 2/2003


  • ITC's buyers-sellers meeting for the printing and publishing industry in francophone West and Central Africa (Dakar, Senegal, May 2003) was reported in several African media. ITC's trade flow analyses reveal a sizeable market for the sector's products and services in the region. They also show abundant regional supply capacity - but there is actually very little trade in this sector between countries in the region.

    As the global leather market expands, Africa needs to act now to build on its natural strengths in leather and become a global player. A new federation representing the continent's leather interests as well as business-focused African trade gatherings are steps in the right direction.

    ITC organized a pan-Asian buyers-sellers meeting for the automotive components sector (Singapore, December 2002), to promote trade linkages between firms from 12 Asian countries.

    Ecuador will become the 25th country to join ITC's E-Trade Bridge Programme since it was launched in May 2002.

    Today's strict food and agricultural standards have been set largely by developed countries. While these standards are there to protect consumers, sometimes the bars are set so high that they become non-tariff barriers. To gain greater access to export markets, developing countries can influence international standards, and use the rules of the WTO Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures to their advantage.

    In more than half the world, business interests are not sufficiently integrated into national trade negotiating positions. This can lead to governments agreeing to trade rules under which, afterwards, their firms may not be able to do business. Instead, informed, timely and targeted business advocacy can help countries conclude beneficial agreements.

    What we doMission. Trade development, focusing on export growth.Clients. Business sectors of developing and transition economies, particularly small to medium-sized firms; over 40% of programme delivery is targeted at least developed countries (LDCs).

    TC's achievements in the last 15 months give a taste of what is to come.

    © International Trade Centre, International Trade Forum - Issue 2/2003 ITC has several programmes that promote South-South trade, covering a variety of sectors. LatinPharma 2003: Forging Alliances Between 'Natural' Partners A Textbook Case To Buy Regionally Matching Africa's Firms with Aid Agencies E

    The world market for natural products is estimated to reach US$ 100 billion by 2010. Medicinal products make up around 80% of this market. By linking up pharmaceutical and natural product companies, ITC is assisting the pharmaceutical industry in Latin America to become competitive exporters of natural medicinal products.

    © International Trade Centre, International Trade Forum - Issue 2/2003 Doha Devt Agenda page on WTO web site ITC's Business for Cancún/ TradeSuccess web site OECD Observer article on Cancún Millennium Development Goals web site NEPAD Business Group web site International Textiles and Clothi

    Service sectors have been underrepresented at the international trade negotiations table. Despite the launch of the GATS negotiations in early 2000, many service sectors in developing countries are poorly placed to provide inputs to the process - although studies project that they stand to gain most from liberalization. The Cancún Ministerial Conference is an opportunity to take stock and allows the service sector to make its voice heard ahead of the GATS negotiations deadline in January 2005.

    Contrary to conventional wisdom, market access barriers faced by developing country exporters are not decreasing for some of their most important export sectors. LDCs are especially at risk. Is market access simply 'unfinished business' or is it a deepening problem? ITC research suggests that we need to take a closer look.

    Donors, international aid agencies and non-governmental organizations spend billions of dollars each year on relief supplies. In the UN system alone, US$ 4.6 billion was spent in 2001 on goods and services, of which nearly 60% was destined for Africa. Yet less than 7% of total UN procurement is supplied from Africa.

    Trade Forum magazine interview with Eveline Herfkens, Executive Coordinator for the UN Millennium Development Goals Campaign

    The New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) is an initiative of African governments to provide a 'home-grown' response to Africa's development challenges in a globalizing environment. Through NEPAD's Business Group, businesses are partnering with governments and international agencies.

    With an increase in delivery of 21%, 2002 was a very good year for ITC. Its achievements underline ITC's relevance to trade development and confirm a path for growth in providing trade-related technical assistance.

    Some observers predict that by 2005-06, major textile and clothing buyers will reduce by half the number of countries they source from. The challenge for countries and companies is to remain an important source for these buyers. This article explores the coming changes in the market and highlights steps governments and exporters can take now to avoid adverse impacts.

    by Supachai Panitchpakdi, WTO Director-GeneralThe world's economy needs a significant boost to push it back onto a stronger growth path. A more open trading system can be a powerful stimulus in reviving the world's economy and in helping poorer countries grow their way out of poverty. Cancún is not just about meeting targets and completing an agenda, it is about creating conditions for advancement in all countries. By working closely with government, businesses in developing countries can help ensure that the goals of the Doha Development Agenda are met.

    Market access and a rule-based world trading system are prerequisites for trade growth. But alone, they generate no trade at all - traders do. Let's help the private sector to become the active trade development player it ought to be.

    Last October, Trade Forum magazine explored the topic of how business in developing countries can benefit from the Doha Development Agenda. The developmental dimension of this round gives business leaders a special opportunity to engage in productive dialogue with government to help shape trade rules - and build the foundation for cooperation with government that is essential to competitiveness, jobs and reducing

    US importers and retailers of textile and apparel are now focused on the shift in market dynamics post-2004. Speculation is mounting as it looks ever more likely that quotas will end for WTO members.