• home

    The News You Can Use


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

    hat do trade promotion booklets in Malta, a purchasing journal in France, an Internet site in the Philippines and a newsletter in Tonga have in common? The answer is ITC's magazine, the Trade Forum.

    As long as Trade Forum has existed, readers have used Forum articles as a basis for training sessions and university classes, and as reprints in trade journals, training courses and textbooks. ITC welcomes this practice - bringing Forum information to new groups of readers is a key to ITC's success in order to ensure that its work reaches the broadest number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and trade support institutions in developing countries and economies in transition.

    Forum is designed as a working tool with practical "news you can use" for developing-country SMEs that conduct international trade, and for the trade support organizations that service them. Many readers - particularly from small businesses and institutions which assist them - often write to ITC noting which articles help them in their work, and follow up with a request for specific ITC publications.

    A tool for your network

    ITC encourages readers to take advantage of the magazine in two ways. One way is for organizations to pass along articles to their own members, clients or readers. Institutions do this in a variety of ways, from reprinting material in textbooks to making Internet links. Some recent examples to stimulate ideas are found on the following pages.

    Contribute to the magazine

    The second way is for readers to actively contribute to the magazine's content, which aims to serve as its name implies: a forum for experiences, viewpoints and contacts for practical aspects of international trade. Readers support this orientation.

    "Sections where readers will have an opportunity to share experiences are indeed innovative measures, and would transform the magazine to a forum for all", noted M.K. Mwandoro, head of the Tanzanian Board of External Trade, in a typical comment on the magazine's new design and structure.

    Readers' favourites

    If you do make a link to your Internet site, a reprint for your newsletter or other use of the magazine, please be sure to let us know, and send two copies of printed materials. It's one of the most effective ways to know which subjects interest you most, and how we can continuously improve the contents of the magazine.

    As we have noted in recent magazine editorials, ITC has received many e-mails and letters expressing positive feedback to the new orientation and format. Articles covering the Internet and trade have been by far the most popular item, followed by interest in organic foods. Other topics which sparked readers' comments include business negotiation tips (a long-time favourite), trade promotion strategies for SMEs and trends in business law.

    We welcome letters to the Editor, with feedback on recent articles, suggested topics for future coverage or information about reprints. We also welcome extended comments on recent articles, based on your organization's experiences, for potential inclusion in the magazine's Partners News and Views section.

    What steps should I take?

    For readers who would like to contribute articles, please contact the Editor by e-mail for guidelines (domeisen@intracen.org). Contributions should fit with the overall direction of the magazine, which provides market information relevant to many developing countries; tips and techniques to improve performance of exporting and importing firms; news about ITC products and services; and reports on international trade trends. All contributions are on a non-paid basis.

    ITC encourages readers to translate and reproduce Forum articles. Prior permission is not necessary, unless the text of the articles, photos and/or artwork are copyright or taken from another publication. The credit line should read "Reprinted from the Trade Forum magazine, published by the International Trade Centre UNCTAD/WTO." Articles should include the author's name.

    ITC also welcomes links between your web site and that of the magazine (http://www.intracen.org/itcnews/forum/forum.htm). When you make the link, please send an e-mail to the Editor (domeisen@intracen.org).

    We look forward to continued dialogue with you in developing an Trade Forum that reflects your views.

    Readers use the Forum...

    ...in publications

    A classic way to use the magazine in your work is to reprint relevant Forum articles in your publications. Below are a few recent examples.

    • Magazine articles

    G-15 Update, a quarterly magazine that promotes trade and investment in emerging markets, recently reprinted the magazine's first ITC and the Internet section (Forum 3/98) containing an initial "web tour" of ITC's Internet site.

    • Magazine special issues

    The World Association of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises reprinted an article on trade promotion strategies for SMEs, along with the entire Close Up section "Investing in the Internet" (Forum 1/99), in a special ITC issue of its newsletter, which is destined to SME associations around the world.

    • Booklets

    Malta's External Trade Corporation published two Forum articles in booklet format.

    • Newsletters

    Tonga's Chamber of Commerce and Industry published abridged versions of "Exporting Organic Food" and "The Changing Legal Landscape" (Forum 3/98) in its latest edition of its journal.

    • Journals

    La Revue Internationale de l'Achat, the journal of France's oldest purchasing management university, reprinted "Manage Your Purchasing with the Internet" (Forum 1/99).

    ...for web sites

    If your organization has a web site, you can offer Forum magazine to your clientele by making a link to ITC's on-line version of Forum at http://www.intracen.org/itcnews/forum/forum.htm

    ...for news stories

    A long-time Forum reader, G. Srinivasan, reported on the "Exporting Organic Foods" story in a wire service article for the Hindu-Businessline. The article appeared on the Internet and was printed by newspapers in India.

    ...in training workshops

    "We have always found the content of Forum of great interest and relevance to our work, and I have often copied articles to our contacts overseas," e-mailed Jackie Adams of Traidcraft Exchange, a United Kingdom-based non-governmental organization. "We work with small, community-based businesses in developing countries.... Our six partner organizations (in Bangladesh, India, South Africa, the Philippines, the United Republic of Tanzania and Zambia) operate a market information service of their own, and often use material from the magazine in one-to-one counselling or in training workshops."