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  • ISSUE 1/2005


  • Aid agencies are buying supplies from Asia and other developing regions following the Asian tsunami in December 2004. ITC's networks of developing country suppliers are playing a role.

    Today, the clothes we wear may have travelled more than us. The shirt pictured here is a good example. Produced for a large retailer in the United States by a mega company based in Hong Kong (China) with branches in different countries, it embodies the globalizing nature of the textiles and clothing trade.

    © International Trade Centre, International Trade Forum - Issue 1/2005 Photo: ITC J. Smadja, Deputy Executive Director of ITC, welcomed Mr Gil Moreira (left) to ITC. Gilberto Gil Moreira, Brazil's Minister for Culture, visited ITC in January 2005 to learn about ITC's work to promote exports in

    In a worldwide first, ITC brought together managers of new and well-established arbitration and mediation centres to discuss the challenges of running a centre. They left with new ideas to tackle common problems as well as new training and cooperation initiatives.

    The recent World Conference of Trade Promotion Organizations shows that TPO leaders are open to innovation, as they explore topics ranging from investment promotion to client relations to performance measurement.

    ITC made the case for trade development and sparked debate at the latest informal meeting of its Joint Advisory Group.ITC projects are helping countries increase jobs and income among poor communities, making South-South trade a reality, helping African countries integrate into world trade and boosting exports from Bolivia and Ghana.

    In 2005, ITC's Executive Forum is working with its network in a new series of two-day sessions to spot best practices in national export strategy and bring them to the attention of others. Over 60 countries are expected to participate in these consultations during 2005:

    How can African countries build the expertise to promote their interests more effectively in trade talks and derive gains from the trading system? The three Geneva-based trade development organizations ­- ITC, UNCTAD and WTO­ - are working together to boost countries' abilities to play a more active role.

    The end of quotas in the textiles and clothing industry benefits large Asian producers. Yet other countries also have a stake in the business. The sector plays a major economic role in many least developed countries, especially in Africa, and in other small, vulnerable countries. To avoid losing important business, their firms need to exploit duty-free advantages to the full, diversify products and expand their supply chains.

    In Asia, 19 developing countries and two regional organizations stand to gain from fast-track access to trade-related technical assistance, in a three-year, €5 million programme financed by the European Commission (EC) and ITC. The aim is to help countries to integrate better into the world economy and to contribute to poverty alleviation and sustainable development.

    Supporting trade development For many years, Forum has reported on trade promotion organizations. This Forum collection of 25 recent articles covers issues of importance to TPOs everywhere, including recommendations from the TPO world conferences and case examples of leading organizations.

    National institutions are essential to increase trade in a sustainable way. The best trade promotion organizations continue to evolve in a fast-changing trade environment. This is the message in the first of three viewpoints about TPOs.This well known Chinese proverb is most relevant for any type of sustainable development. Amazingly, it is often ignored by technical assistance providers who, in their haste to do good and be seen to be doing good, often support the "quick fi x" or the "quick win". Many proceed on the basis that if the man is hungry, give him some fi sh. Th is allows the technical assistance provider to show immediate positive results and everyone is happy over the short term. Th e problem is that the man comes back tomorrow, hungry again, but by then the donor may have moved resources on to another "quick win" situation.

    More specialized customer services are being delivered more efficiently through communications technologies. TPOs now need to focus more on exporters of services, since European economies are over 80% based on services.

    At a time of fundamental, accelerating changes in the global economy, leaders of trade promotion organizations from around the world met to discuss their future as players in national trade development and business competitiveness.

    Behind TradeTrade Forum's new look is a new approach to reporting on trade development issues. The approach builds on your feedback to our 40th anniversary publications. We sum up our new emphasis in three words: advocacy, development and topicality. We continue to bring ITC's message of challenge - to bridge the gap between rich and poor - and of hope - to build on trade development practices that work and take action on a broader scale. Because our readers are diverse, and trade-related disciplines are many and complex, in our reporting we touch on the links between trade development and the current events or societal trends that matter to us all.With the spotlight on trade as a means to development, the articles below cover some important issues for developing countries, including training in WTO issues, the potential of services exports, and whether trade development assistance is effective.In this issue, find special reports on:Textiles and Clothing: What's the Cost for LDCs?Do TPOs Boost Exports?

    Djibouti's Minister of Commerce, Industry and Artisanal Products, Saleban Omar Oudine, signed an agreement with ITC to develop the country's tourism sector in December 2004.

    © International Trade Centre, International Trade Forum - Issue 1/2005 Thesaurus of International Trade Terms Revision 4. 166 pages . (Technical Paper). Thesaurus intended to trade information services in developing countries, to be used for bibliographical description and indexing of information mat

    © International Trade Centre, International Trade Forum - Issue 1/2005     Thesaurus of International Trade Terms Revision 4. 166 pages . (Technical Paper). Thesaurus intended to trade information services in developing countries, to be used for bibliographical description and inde

    ITC is updating its 330-page book, Coffee - An exporter's guide, published in late 2002, and adapting it to a web site version. The site http://www.thecoffeeguide.org became available in April 2005.

    ITC's trade information and market analysis tool Product Map, which helps identify priority export sectors, has tripled the number of users since its launch in 2002. This web-based tool, consisting of 72 industry portals, notched up 18,000 monthly visitors in February 2005.

    There are strong prospects for trade in services, particularly between developing countries. Over the past few years, ITC has refocused its activities in this sector to help countries take advantage of new opportunities.

    Strategic Market Analysis for International Business Development The seminar is designed for market analysts and information managers in trade promotion organizations and chambers of commerce, as well as for private sector professionals in international business development.

    Market-driven TPOs support outward-oriented trade and investment policies in successful Asian economies.Few current trade policy issues are as polarized as the debate over the relevance of trade promotion organizations (TPOs) for developing countries. Some ardent free traders see TPOs (particularly those funded and controlled by the state) as inefficient and costly bureaucratic structures that offer little support to exporting by private firms. Instead, they advocate rapid import liberalization and competitive exchange rates to stimulate exports.

    Trade promotion organizations (TPOs) in the Republic of Korea, Uganda, Colombia, Jamaica, Australia and Bulgaria have received international awards for their achievements in raising exports. These winners demonstrate that TPOs can make a difference in today's challenging trade environment.