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    Spread the word: Codify crafts nationally


    National experiences serve as the stepping stone to international codification.
    © International Trade Centre, International Trade Forum - Issue 4/2000 

    Indian handicrafts exhibited at a trade fair.

    ITC encourages organizations involved in promoting artisanal exports to announce this WCO recommendation to their own networks, by reporting the development in magazines, newsletters and web sites, as well as at relevant events. "In view of the recommendation's importance for trade promotion and export development of artisanal products, it is crucial that it be officially accepted and implemented by countries as soon as possible," notes Bertil Byskov, Chief of ITC's Market Development Section.

    María-Mercedes Sala, the ITC Market Development Officer responsible for artisanal products, reports that she has "disseminated it to 2,000 development partners around the world, including crafts ministries and departments, United Nations Development Programme affiliates, trade support institutions, craft business associations and relevant non-governmental organizations. WCO has also informed its worldwide network and asked its member countries to classify all craft products accordingly".

    Please inform M.-M. Sala directly about any achievements or progress made towards implementing this recommendation, and about any announcements that you make to your own networks. She can be contacted at: phone +41 22 730 0449; fax: +41 22 730 0446; e-mail: sala@intracen.org 

    Below are extracts from some letters and articles being sent to ITC. 

    "After many years of work by the International Trade Centre and other international agencies to obtain a separate identification for crafts, the World Customs Organization adopted in July the Customs Cooperation Council Recommendation to insert additional

    categories for crafts into statistical nomenclatures. This is one development that will help measure the impact of crafts and demonstrate their important role in economic development and world trade."

    Crafts News magazine, "World Bank Artisan-as-Entrepreneur Learning Fair" by Caroline Ramsay (Summer 2000) 

    "Of particular interest to me was the initiative taken by ITC resulting in the adoption of a Recommendation by the Customs Co-operation Council that will make it pos-sible to collect, analyse and compare trade data about artisanal products.

    The recommendation... will, no doubt, give the much needed fillip to facilitating the collection and comparison of trade data on this vast and important category of products, which represent a significant share of trade and tourism revenues of all countries, and also enable the craft-persons' contribution to their respective national economies to be properly understood and rightfully acknowledged.

    I would like, therefore, to congratulate you on your persistent efforts, which have finally begun to bear fruit."

    Mr. Arun Agrawal, Deputy Secretary General, World Association for Small and Medium Enterprises 

    "We are very pleased to know that it was possible to reach an agreement, which is now described in Recommendation NG0021B1 of 7 July 2000. It is our pleasure to inform all our IQNet member organizations about this consensus. We will keep you informed about any progress visible in practice."

    Armin Girschweiler, Secretary-General, IQNet, a network of the world's main non-profit certification bodies 

    "I commend you for your successful efforts and initiative in bringing the codification proposal to the official recommendation stage. Hopefully enough countries will act on the recommendation to introduce the nomenclature into the Harmonized System."

    Malcolm Benjamin, former senior technical adviser on artisan enterprise development to the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the International Labour Organization and ITC 

    "... I wish to congratulate you on your action in this field and on the adoption of this Recommendation. It is a great progress towards the promotion and development of craft enterprises, thus contributing to the economic and social growth of many countries."

    Christine Castro-Hublin, Chief, Copyright Law Section, Cooperation for Development Department, World Intellectual Property Organization