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  • ISSUE 1-2/2008


  • Afghanistan's efforts to connect businesses to new markets have earned one of the global awards from the World Conference of Trade Promotion Organizations. Created in 2006, the Export Promotion Agency of Afghanistan has made tangible contributions to expanding exports despite the country's widespread problems after decades of conflict.

    The Coconut Coast Project in Bahia, Brazil, supported by ITC, provides consumers with first-class quality tourism and products, while achieving first-class results for the local community

    Africa had its own pavilion at Biofach, the World Organic Trade Fair in Nuremberg this year, which marked the first time African exporters were gathered under one roof in a concerted campaign to strengthen and promote 'Brand Africa'. The number of exhibitors more than doubled to 75 this year in an effort to bring more visibility to African exporters. They are, in short, working examples of the ITC maxim 'export impact for good' and the fair was a wonderful showcase for the changing face of African organics.

    Helping small exporters in developing countries adapt to new global trade condition. How to overcome the difficulties of small to medium-size enterprises (SMEs) taking up global market opportunities was central to discussions at an ITC-moderated session at the WTO Public Forum in September, where two key messages emerged.

    Commercial opportunities for investment and entrepreneurship in biodiversity go way beyond only agriculture, a major new study suggests

    Understanding global sourcing and supply chains may be the solution in export markets that are no longer geographic.

    Organic, fair trade and ethical products will keep their market, despite today's volatile, unpredictable economic climate, suggested keynote speakers at ITC's World Export Development Forum in Montreux, Switzerland, in October 2008. The market for such goods will likely take a temporary hit, but will bounce back, they predicted. In fact, the sector continues to be a good investment.

    We put 10 questions to Rob Cameron, Chief Executive of Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO).

    Tens of millions of new jobs could be created around the world by the development of alternative energy technologies over the next few decades, according to a report by the UN's Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Labour Organization (ILO).

    Spain signed an accord with the ITC in July, to help develop the export potential of small- and medium-sized businesses in Latin America and the Caribbean. The funds are being used to strengthen business capacity, competitiveness and strategy. It is the first time since 1997 that Spain has contributed to the ITC.

    It is a great pleasure to present to you the first edition of the restructured International Trade Forum magazine. We hope that the online version will become a greater forum for dialogue to promote and facilitate "Export Impact for Good".  The International Trade Centre is in the business of helping small businesses in developing countries connect effectively with the global marketplace. By building knowledge and skills, we aim to increase export activity and grow community outcomes in places most in need.This January issue brings views of top trade experts on understanding consumer attitudes, and addressing challenges of the current contraction in global markets. The next online edition will look more closely at environment, ethics and consumer conscience.We encourage you to use the comments feature available for each of the articles and share your views.

    An ancient tribe in the Guyanese rainforest has joined forces with scientists and business to prove their forest is worth more alive than cut down

    ITC continues to publish a range of books, technical papers, newsletters and marketing materials that are widely sought by readers.

    In the maze of the environmental labels: an opportunity or a barrier?

    Demand for organic cotton in the textile industry is outstripping supply, presenting clear opportunities for developing exporters. But why aren't more producers going organic? ITC looks at the obstacles and ways to get over them

    In September this year, the UN's World Food Programme (WFP) announced that it will begin buying surplus crops from low-income farmers in 21 African and Central American countries in a project that could transform the mechanics of food aid.

    While bailouts for banks and help for homeowners hit the headlines daily, scant regard is given to the grit in the engine of growth: access to trade finance. The narrow focus during this wave of the financial crisis as it hits homes in developed markets obscures the tsunami that threatens trade at a time when we simply cannot afford to see trade flows stall.

    While the world economy is slowing down, exporters from developing countries should be positioning themselves for the recovery and a boost in ethical trade.

    To stay abreast of the ever-changing commercial environment, Trade Promotion Organizations (TPOs) are retooling and recalibrating for the future. TPOs have proven their worth over the last decade in the rapidly changing nature of world trade. A recent study found that TPOs have a 'strong and statistically significant impact on exports'. After examining 104 TPOs around the world, the study estimated that, on average, each $1 spent on export promotion led to a $40 increase in exports.

    The Growing demand for businesses to behave ethically is an opportunity, not a threat, for companies and countries smart enough to see it that way

    International Trade Forum - Issue 1-2/2008 Ethical and fair trade, environmental protection, safety and health issues are influencing consumers conscience. SOME of the greatest minds in world trade gathered for the 2008 World Export Development Forum (WEDF) in October to debate issues READ MORE...