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    Managing Competitive Advantage: Recommendations from ITC's Executive Forum Network


    © International Trade Centre, International Trade Forum - Issue 1/2003

    Proposals for the export strategy-maker

    National Competitiveness Strategy

    Improving export competitiveness requires a strategy to improve the business environment and export competency at the national level. The strategy should focus on cross-cutting issues, with the needs of key growth sectors determining areas for priority attention.

    National Branding

    National branding can boost a country's profile on the international business scene, but strategists must think long term and promote national characteristics that match business reality.

    Sectoral Competitiveness

    Value chain analysis highlights links in the chain where firms and countries can capture more value from exports.

    In-country Alliances

    Industrial clusters, contract farming, export production villages, business networks and alliances between non-governmental organizations and exporters provide ways to improve a country's international position while reducing its reliance on foreign direct investment.

    Measuring Performance

    Trade development officials need benchmarks to establish how far they are meeting their objectives. They should try to measure impact, not just resource inputs and service outputs. New tools such as ITC's benchmarking tools, the balanced scorecard and contingent valuation by users are useful for conducting evaluations.

    For more information

    • The Executive Forum web site (http://www.intracen.org/execforum)

    • The Executive Forum book, Managing Competitive Advantage (forthcoming)

    • ITC's Secrets of Strategy Template on CD-ROM

    • Contact the Executive Forum team at execforum@intracen.org