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    Extracts from ITC's Annual Report for 2003


    © International Trade Centre, International Trade Forum - Issue 1/2004

    The views from the field, below, give a flavour of technical assistance projects in action over the course of 2003.

    Kenya's first national export strategy

    "The first National Export Strategy … has been prepared by the Ministry of Trade and Industry in close collaboration with the private sector in Kenya and ITC.

    "The first phase of this strategy covers ten sectors and six cross-cutting issues. The limitation in scope of coverage … is in consideration of the resources available for effective implementation …

    "[The strategy] will be implemented in the period 2003-2005. The Government of Kenya is committed to ensuring full implementation … under the auspices of the Consultative Mechanism incorporated in the strategy. I therefore look forward to mutual cooperation between all the agencies involved in implementation …"

    Hon. Dr Mukhisa Kituyi, Minister for Trade and Industry, Nairobi, November 2003.

    Adding value to exports

    What do silk, spices, gourmet coffee, medicinal plants and organic products have in common? All offer high value-added export opportunities to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries.

    In 2003, ITC provided advice on farming practices, processing and storage techniques and export marketing of organic spices, herbs, essential oils and honey (in Kenya, Malawi, the United Republic of Tanzania and Zambia).

    Physical analysis, arranged by ITC specialists, confirmed that bird's-eye chillies from Burundi meet the highest quality standards in Europe and the United States, allowing for related marketing plans.

    ITC provided product development support to a small weaver community in Cambodia and to the Cambodian Silk Forum, a private-sector association representing over 400 silk producers.

    ITC assessed market potential and developed business plans for producers of medicinal herbs, gums and plant extracts from the Amazon region.
    The ITC-initiated "Cup of Excellence" Internet auction of Brazilian gourmet coffees yielded prices ten times that of the world market.

    Flower exports reduce poverty in China

    "The ITC project helped the growers in Yunnan Province improve their skills and know-how. Overall production and quality have increased considerably. When the project started in 1999, the export value of cut flowers amounted to little over US$ 5 million. Their export value reached some US$ 18 million in 2002, the target originally set for 2010, and it is estimated that the value will exceed US$ 20 million this year. In the meantime, the incomes of flower enterprises and household growers are increasingly stable … This is an eminent example of what a true technical cooperation partnership can achieve."

    Shi Tianjun, President, Yunnan Flower Association.

    New benchmarking tool to help textile firms

    "When the entire textile industry in the country gears up for the post-quota regime by 2005, lacunae in benchmarking continue to bother … small and medium-sized enterprises with no details of comparison with competitors available.

    "In this gloomy scenario, a software-based benchmarking tool, named The Fit, developed by ITC and launched nationwide through its national partner, Textiles Committee, looks to be a fitting solution as it helps the SMEs to identify their strengths and weaknesses vis-à-vis the competitors and prioritize areas of action to improve their competitiveness."

    The New Indian Express, Coimbatore, 25 September 2003.

    The full Annual Report 2003 is available online at http://www.intracen.org/docman/JAG_4903.pdf