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    East African services associations 'Build Bridges Across Borders'


    © International Trade Centre, International Trade Forum - Issue 3/2003

    ITC, with the Kenyan Export Promotion Council, held its first regional networking event for service sector industry associations (Nairobi, July 2003), to help build relationships at the association level.

    Service exporters in linked sectors often find it easier to enter new markets by bundling their offerings. For example, foreign investors in a new country require business services such as corporate real estate, accounting, legal and information technology. Clustering services such as planning, design, architecture, engineering and construction often allows small exporters to bid collectively on large-scale projects.

    "Small and micro enterprises that cannot be globally competitive on their own can access networks which will backstop them as they take on the challenge of harnessing globalization," commented George Walusimbi-Mpanga, Executive Secretary of the Uganda Services Exporters Association.

    More than 40 associations from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda attended the two-day Bridges Across Borders event.

    The event included a skills development workshop and one-on-one meetings among participants representing sectors such as pharmaceutical, medical, marketing, out-sourcing, legal, architecture, accounting, insurance, surveying, engineering, transportation and banking.

    The next Bridges Across Borders meeting will take place in Botswana (December, 2003) with the participation of service associations from Namibia and Zambia. Another meeting will also take place in Tunisia with associations from Cameroon and Morocco.

    For more information, contact Doreen Conrad (conrad@intracen.org), Chief, ITC Trade in Services Unit.