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    Converting Export Opportunities into Business


    ITC Business Round Table at UN LDC III Conference
    © International Trade Centre, International Trade Forum - Issue 1/2001 

    ITC will organize a Business Sector Round Table for the

    Third United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (Brussels, May 2001). The meeting provides a forum for creative dialogue to some 75 participants comprising entrepreneurs and senior policy-makers from least developed countries (LDCs), buyers of LDC products from developed countries and LDCs' bilateral and multilateral development partners involved in trade development.

    Business perspectives 

    The round table is expected to bring out the private-sector perspective at the Brussels Conference on LDCs. Specifically, it aims to demonstrate that despite facing serious supply-side and market-access bottlenecks, entrepreneurs from LDCs can seize opportunities emerging in the global economy through innovative and proactive measures.

    Success stories offer guidance 

    For governments and enterprises... 

    At the round table, successful entrepreneurs will illustrate how they have overcome production, quality and other trade barriers, making the most of innovative capacity-building interventions targeted to specific firms. Portraying these successes within an analytical framework for export development can act as a guide for LDC governments and entrepreneurs. They provide a road map for developing successful firm-level export development plans as well as efficient sectoral and national export development strategies.

    ...And development partners 

    LDCs' development partners will have the opportunity to illustrate how they have successfully helped exporters in LDCs to improve their export performance through technical assistance programmes for focused matchmaking, business development and export promotion. They will also review experiences in formulating export strategies in LDCs to provide export impetus and a framework of support for exporters.

    ITC and partners prepare collectively 

    ITC is working with a number of partners to organize the round table. Among them are the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the World Trade Organization (WTO), Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), SENTER International, and Technoserve. The Norwegian government has made a generous financial contribution for the organization of the event.

    Readers are encouraged to participate in a series of discussion forums on the round table's web site. Successful exporters from LDCs may also wish to share their experiences through the web site. Interesting cases will be included in the publication and put on the web site to be accessed by a large number of buyers from developed countries. Among the work being carried out: case studies on successful export firms in LDCs, the most revealing of which will be presented at the round table by the entrepreneurs themselves; a comprehensive product and market analysis of 15 products and sectors of high export relevance to LDCs; an analysis of innovative approaches for export strategy development in LDCs; the maintenance of a special web site on the round table (http://www.intracen.org/bsrt/); as well as the preparation of a publication entitled Converting LDC Export Opportunities Into Business: A Strategic Response, which is expected to serve as an important tool for export development in LDCs.

    For more information, contact A. Shah, ITC Senior Trade Promotion Officer, at shah@intracen.org, or view the relevant ITC web site at http://www.intracen.org/bsrt