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    Editors' Picks


    International Trade Forum - Issue 3/2007, © International Trade Centre

    The Trade Forum editorial team shares the magazine issues that marked them the most. Topics such as women in the economy, NGOs in trade development and written versus visual journalism are among the team's favourites.

    A stronger voice for ITC

    Thematic issues are my favourites, because the potential for impact is greater. From research to message development to outreach, such editions reflect a consolidated approach from ITC, with commitment from a range of colleagues and their associated networks. Such collaboration leads to more holistic messaging and the opportunity to reach targeted audiences through partnerships.   

    • Women in the Global Economy. This is my top pick. A year of research preceded the issue, reflecting teamwork from a gender group at ITC. Our conclusions sparked debate. News agencies reported on it and several United Nations bodies continue to link to these articles. The message is still relevant and ITC is now going to a new level by putting women at the heart of its poverty strategy.
    • Changing "Brand Africa". Inspirational African business success stories have proved popular, at a time when African economic prospects are looking up.
    • Why Services Matter. Bringing a collection of relevant articles directly to Tunisian service exporters, through a special edition produced with a local partner, proved helpful in getting information to those who could use it most.
    • Greening your Business. With articles on green purchasing, packaging, opportunities in environmental services and more, this was an early opportunity for businesses and trade support institutions to think about environmental considerations, before it became fashionable to do so.

    New market opportunities

    Coffee, silk, fashion, organic food and business tourism are favourites - all report on traditional market opportunities in new ways. Articles on the market for emergency relief supplies deserve attention, as this remains a sizeable, relatively untapped opportunity.   

    Looking ahead

    With new technology advances, there is scope in partnerships with various readers for editions customized by language, topic or event. As for topics, I would vote for more on the environment, standards, corporate social responsibility, ethical trade, services and women. These reflect the dual mandate of ITC, with opportunities for international business growth as well as the potential to reduce poverty through trade - export impact for good.

    Natalie Domeisen, Editor-in-Chief


    Creative solutions to poverty reduction

    Articles of recent years mirror promising new trends in poverty reduction using trade. Our research reveals the appearance of new, more creative and innovative partnerships and approaches to fighting poverty. We've reported the increased involvement of non-governmental organizations in trade development as well as the shift in aid agencies from providing aid to developing trade. Ethical fashion, fair trade and corporate social responsibility trends, where businesses partner with trade development organizations, have been given prominence on our pages.   

    These trends, though still limited, give me hope for the development prospects of poor countries. I hope that our readers draw inspiration from these stories and that we will have more and more such examples to report on!

    Marija Stefanovic, Editorial Researcher


    Changing attitudes

    As I write, the former Mozambican president, Joachim Chissano, has just won the Prize for Achievement in African Leadership - an award sponsored by the Sudanese businessman, Mo Ibrahim. This spirit of African renewal from within is what we tried to capture in Changing "Brand Africa". I think the cases in this issue reflect the positive changes on the continent, many of them driven by entrepreneurs with a social conscience.   

    Women entrepreneurs are not a "woman's issue"!

    When we started work on the Women in the Global Economy issue, we found a lot of research about women entrepreneurs and the constraints they face, but few recommendations to improve their position. We decided to be bold and suggest some initial steps, all leading towards integrating businesswomen in mainstream trade and business support networks.   

    Targeted analysis

    What emerges as a single market study, or a series of articles, is usually the result of months of research on the part of the technical expert, and certainly weeks of work to pinpoint the "message" with the magazine's editorial team. I found the textiles and clothing and coffee sectors, where we debunked some common (mis)perceptions, especially eye-opening.   

    And, judging by the popularity of these articles for reprints and web views, we think you agree.

    Prema de Sousa, Associate Editor from 2002 to 2007

    Photo essays: It's all about telling a story - differently

    When we decided to run a photo essay in the Changing "Brand Africa" issue, we had a lot of discussions within our editorial team around a classic debate: written versus visual journalism. It was a challenge to show with images and captions (as opposed to text) how moves towards democracy, access to credit and business education are aspects of the new "Brand Africa". In the following issue, Taking Off with Trade, our reporting on ITC's annual meeting included a photo essay. For each theme discussed during the meeting, we matched views from our networks with successful examples from businesses in the developing world.   

    I am a fan of visual journalism as a complement to text-based articles, as I think images can often get the message across in a faster and sometimes more durable manner. In my opinion, this trend is worth further exploration.

    Luisa Cassaro, Associate Editor