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    Informal Meeting of Joint Advisory Group - ITC's Trade Information and Market Development Programmes


    © International Trade Centre, International Trade Forum - Issue 1/2001 

    ITC hosted the second informal session of its Joint Advisory Group on 2 November 2000 in Geneva. The session allows one division of ITC to present its work programme to the organization's stakeholders. This year featured ITC's Division of Product and Market Development.

    The division's services to ITC's clients cover trade information; market analysis; and market development assistance for both products and services exports. Trade information serves as the foundation upon which market analysis is undertaken, followed by sector-specific programmes.

    Trade information 

    Faced with new challenges and opportunities of the electronic age, the division adapted its services based on its new trade information strategy. The strategy aims to:

    • build capacity of information service providers;
    • support development of regional and interregional trade information networks; and
    • meet information needs of SMEs.

    Market analysis 

    Product MAPs (Market Analysis Portals) provide country-specific information for benchmarking, priority setting and strategy formulation for trade promotion and development. Based on trade statistics, they cover 184 countries. Product MAPs will be launched in early 2001.

    ITC's Market News Service con-tinues to report price information and provide market analysis for a range of products to end-users in 137 countries.

    Market development for products and services 

    Among the updates on the division's market development activities were:

    • News of a breakthrough at the World Customs Organization for the separate codification of artisanal products in trade statistics (see the Market Profile section of this issue).

    • "Meet in Africa", a major leather industry event, organized by ITC in Morocco.

    • ITC's new trade in services strategy, aimed at increasing service exports in developing countries. The strategy aims to build awareness (services exports are generally underreported, and governments consequently do not include services in export strategies); conduct case studies on service sector trade capacity in selected countries; and use the data to facilitate programme development and training for services exporters, associations and governments.

    • ITC activities in fast-growing information technology markets. ITC has launched a programme to examine the implications of the WTO agreements for IT, including a series of national and regional round tables. The most recent, a regional business round table for economies in transition (Portorose, Slovenia, November 2000), was attended by 14 countries in the region, and covered market prospects for information technology industries.

    For more information, contact Peter Walters, Director,
    ITC Division of Product and Market Development,
    at walters@intracen.org