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    Supporting Development Through Trade


    © International Trade Centre, International Trade Forum - Issue 4/2003

    Since 1964, the International Trade Centre (ITC) has been helping the business sectors of developing and transition economies to realize their full potential to develop exports. Through export growth, our ultimate goal is to assist these countries to achieve sustainable human development.

    ITC shares the social development goals of the United Nations, the Bretton Woods institutions, the World Trade Organization (WTO) and, more generally, the international community. ITC's trade development approach reflects our emphasis on being a practical agency, emphasizing technical cooperation and capacity building. This approach has been acknowledged in the Doha Ministerial Declaration and the Monterrey Consensus.

    Three trade-related organizations in Geneva

    • The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) is the global forum for the integrated treatment of development and the related issues of trade, finance, services, investment and technology.
    • WTO is the platform for negotiating multilateral trade rules and monitoring their implementation, and for the settlement of disputes.
    • ITC is the technical cooperation organization of UNCTAD and WTO. ITC deals with strategic and operational aspects of trade and export development.

    Complementary roles

    How does this work in practice? UNCTAD helps governments to develop local capacities to formulate trade negotiation positions. WTO disseminates and explains rules and agreements, and how to implement them. ITC complements UNCTAD's and WTO's research, policy, advocacy and normative work. We clarify the business implications of multilateral trade agreements and explain to exporters in developing and transition economies how they can benefit from the rules-based trading system.

    With more than 200 women and men of 60 nationalities and some 620 consultants around the world, ITC is currently implementing over 100 projects, with a special focus on least developed countries. Our daily contact with business executives and export strategy-makers of the developing world, over the course of four decades, has given us a unique perspective and experience.

    For more information about ITC, visit our web site (http://www.intracen.org).