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    Trade Secrets in your Country


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

    This section provides an overview of exporters' main questions, ordering information for national versions and steps needed to develop a national version where it is not available.

    The Questions Behind Trade Secrets 

    Each Trade Secrets publication is based on a national survey of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to determine the top 100 questions of interest at a national level. These questions then form the national publication's table of contents. Some questions from the generic version of Trade Secrets are below, to provide Forum readers with an overview of the questions that are typically addressed. National versions follow the same approach, but the questions may differ.

    Making the decision to export 

    Why should a business export?

    What are the advantages and risks of exporting for the firm?

    What is involved in a typical export process?

    What are the most common mistakes made by exporters?

    What questions should be answered before deciding to export?

    What are the various service institutions that can help the exporter?

    What are incentives for the exporting SME?

    Preparing to export 

    Who can assist the exporter with research and market planning?

    What are the essential elements of a business plan?

    How can the Internet be used to promote exporters' products?

    How can an exporter access the Internet?

    Finding the market 

    How can the exporter determine if the chosen product will fare well in the target market?

    Where can an exporter find market reports for specific products?

    How is a Market Factor Assessment conducted?

    Finding the customer 

    What are the various ways of entering a foreign market?

    What sales and distribution channels can be used in different world markets?

    What are Export Development Companies?

    Where are trade fairs held?

    How does an exporter select the best trade fair?

    What are the typical costs of participating in a trade fair?

    Cultural issues 

    What are the rules of business etiquette in various countries?

    Does being a business woman affect business success abroad?

    Agents and distributors 

    What role does a sales agent perform in exporting?

    What criteria should be used when selecting an agent or a distributor?

    How are sales commission agent and distributor contracts drawn up?

    Legally, what can happen if the agreement is terminated?

    How does the exporter find information on foreign representatives?


    What kind of export contract should be used by the exporter?

    What are the essential elements of an export contract?

    What are Incoterms?

    What are the most common problems with Incoterms?

    What are the documents involved in the transportation of goods?

    Is it necessary to insure goods?

    What happens if the buyer finds delivery unacceptable?


    What is a quality standard?

    What is ISO 9000?

    What is ISO 14000?

    How is ISO certification awarded?

    What is eco-labelling?

    Are there user groups or loan programmes to assist exporters?


    What do buyers look for when determining the purchase of a product?

    How does an exporter prepare an accurate quote?

    How should an exporter respond to an unsolicited inquiry from overseas?

    Where can a listing of prices in different countries be obtained?

    What elements should an Export Costing Worksheet contain?

    Financing and getting paid 

    How can an exporter finance the purchase of raw materials?

    What documents should the exporter prepare for a bank?

    What are the methods of payment available to exporters?

    What is a letter of credit and how can an exporter use it when exporting?

    What problems most commonly arise with a letter of credit process?

    What foreign exchange rate risks does an exporter face?

    How is the credit-worthiness of a foreign buyer evaluated?

    What is export credit insurance?

    Transportation and documentation 

    How should a freight forwarder be selected?

    Who is responsible for damage or loss arising from force majeure and other causes?

    What is the best way to ship products?

    Where can export documents be obtained and which departments or ministries can help in completing the required documentation?

    Packaging and labelling 

    What type of packaging do products require?

    What are the technical aspects of packaging?

    How does the distribution chain affect packaging requirements?

    What kind of labelling does the product need?

    Where can information on packaging and labelling requirements be obtained?

    What proportion of the product's cost is represented by packaging?

    World Trade Organization 

    What is the importance of the Uruguay Round?

    What are the objectives of Agreements on Agriculture and on Textiles and Clothing?

    What is the purpose of the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade?

    What is the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures?

    What is the General Agreement on Trade In Services?

    What is the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects orf Intellectual Property (TRIPS)?

    What standards of protection does TRIPS lay down for different rights?

    What protection does TRIPS provide for intellectual property rights?

    What benefits can SMEs derive from the WTO system?

    Where to Obtain Trade Secrets 

    Contact information to order national versions is below. 

    • Trade Secrets - Bangladesh

    Dhaka Chamber of Commerce

    65 Motijheel, Commercial Area

    Dhaka 1000

    Fax: +880 2956-0830

    E-mail: cddi@bangla.net

    Publishing date: 2000

    • Trade Secrets - Brazil

    Ministério das Relações Exteriores

    Divisão de Programas de Promoção Comercial

    Palácio Itamaraty, Anexo Administrativo I

    s/528 Brasilia, Brazil

    Fax: +55 61 322 0827

    E-mail: leal@mre.gov.br

    Publishing date: 2000

    • Trade Secrets - Burkina Faso

    Office national du commerce extérieur

    Avenue Léo Frob'nius

    Ouagadougou 01, Burkina Faso

    Fax: +226 311469

    E-mail: simon-palenfo@gov.bf

    Publishing date: 2000

    • Trade Secrets - Cameroon

    Ministère du développement industriel

    P.O. Box 6701, Yaoundé, Cameroon

    Fax: +237 203192 /+237 228726

    E-mail: essombas@gcnet.cm

    Publishing date: 2000

    • Trade Secrets - Cuba

    Centro para la Promoción de las Exportaciones de Cuba

    Ministerio de Comercio Exterior

    Infanta No. 16, Esq. A 23, Vedado

    Ciudad de la Habana, Cuba

    Fax: +53 7 662220

    E-mail: cepecdir@infocex.cu

    Publishing date: 2000

    • Trade Secrets - Ecuador

    Federación Ecuatoriana de Exportadores

    Casilla 17-15 - 00187-B Quito, Ecuador

    Fax: +59 32 440 574

    E-mail: fedexpor@accessinter.net

    Publishing date: 2000

    • Trade Secrets - Egypt

    Egyptian Exporters Assn. Expolink

    23 Al Esraa St., Mohandseen

    12411 Giza, Egypt

    Fax: +202 304 6889

    E-mail: info@expolink.org.eg

    Publishing date: 1999

    • Trade Secrets - Gabon

    Direction générale du commerce

    Ministère du commerce, de l'industrie, des PME-PMI et de l'artisanat

    B.P. 561, Libreville, Gabon

    Fax: +241 76 58 38

    Publishing date: 2000

    • Trade Secrets - Ghana

    Ghana Export Promotion Council

    Republic House Annex

    Tudu Road, Accra, Ghana

    Fax: +23321 66 8263

    E-mail: gepc@ghana.com

    Publishing date: 2000

    • Trade Secrets - Guinea

    Ministère de la promotion du secteur privé, de l'industrie et du commerce

    B.P. 13, Conakry, Guinea

    Fax: +224 412 814

    E-mail: dncc@leland-gn.org

    Publishing date: 2000

    • Trade Secrets - India

    Confederation of Indian Industry

    23, Institutional Area, Lodi Road

    New Delhi 110 003, India

    Fax: +91 11 4633168 / 4626149

    E-mail: sonia@co.cii.ernet.in

    Publishing date: 1998

    • Trade Secrets - Kenya

    Kenya Management Assistance Programme

    2nd Floor, Standard Chartered Chambers

    Kimathi Street, P.O. Box 51838

    Nairobi, Kenya

    Fax: +254 2 216396

    E-mail: kmap@africaonline.co.ke

    Publishing date: 1999

    • Trade Secrets - Mali

    Ministère de l'industrie, du commerce et de l'artisanat

    BP 210 Bamako, Mali

    Fax: +223 21 80 46

    E-mail: dnae@datatech.toolnet.org

    Publishing date: 2000

    • Trade Secrets - Mauritania

    Chambre de commerce, d'industrie et d'agriculture de Mauritanie

    Avenue de l'Indépendance

    B.P. 215, Nouakchott, Mauritania

    Fax: +222 2 253895

    E-mail: fo.mrt@undp.org

    Publishing date: 2000

    • Trade Secrets - Mauritius

    Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry

    3 Royal Street, Port Louis, Mauritius

    Fax: +230 2080076

    E-mail: mcci@intnet.mu

    Publishing date: 1999

    • Trade Secrets - Mexico

    Banco Nacional de Comercio Exterior

    Área de Telemarketing

    Periférico Sur 4333, 1er. Piso Ote.

    Col. Jardines en la Montaña

    Distrito Federal, Mexico, C.P. 14210

    Fax: +52 5 449 9028 /449-9030

    E-mail: bancomext@bancomext.gob.mx

    Publishing date: 1999

    • Trade Secrets - Morocco

    Centre marocain de promotion des exportations

    23 Rue Bnou Majed El Bahar

    Casablanca, Morocco

    Fax: +212 230 1793

    E-mail: cmpe@cmpe.org.ma

    Publishing date: 2000

    • Trade Secrets - Nepal

    Nepal Chamber of Commerce

    Chamber Bhawan, Kanti Path,

    P.O. Box 198, Kathmandu, Nepal

    Fax: +977 1 229998

    E-mail: chamber@wlink.com.np

    Publishing date: 1999

    • Trade Secrets - the Niger

    Département études et recherches

    Chambre de commerce, d'agriculture, d'industrie et d'artisanat du Niger

    B.P. 209, Niamey, Niger

    Fax: +22 773 4668

    E-mail: cham209n@intnet.ne

    Publishing date: 2000

    • Trade Secrets - the Philippines

    Philippine Trade Training Center

    Roxas Blvd, cor. Sen. Gil J. Puyat Ave.

    1300 Pasay City, Philippines

    Fax: +63 2 8341343 / 8337337

    E-mail: pttc@dti.gov.ph

    Publishing date: 1999

    • Trade Secrets - Senegal

    Centre international du commerce extérieur du Sénégal

    Rte de l'Aéroport

    B.P. 8166, Dakar-YOFF, Senegal

    Fax: +221 827 52 75

    E-mail: dipf.cices@metissacana.sn

    Publishing date: 2000

    • Trade Secrets - Slovenia

    Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia

    Business Information Point

    Dimiceva 13, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

    Fax: +386 61 1898 100

    E-mail: mojca.osojnik@gzs.si

    Publishing date: 1999

    • Trade Secrets - Togo

    Chambre de commerce et d'industrie du Togo

    Angle Avenue de la Présidence,

    Avenue Georges Pompidou

    B.P. 360, Lomé, Togo

    Fax: +228 21 47 30

    Publishing date: 2000

    • Trade Secrets - Trinidad and Tobago

    Tourism and Industrial Development

    Company of Trinidad and Tobago Ltd.

    10-14 Phillips Street

    Port of Spain, Trinidad

    Fax: +868 625 0837

    E-mail: trade-info@tidco.co.tt

    Publishing date: 1999

    • Trade Secrets - Tunisia

    Centre de promotion des exportations

    28, rue Ghandi, Tunis 1001, Tunisia

    Fax: +216 1 353683

    E-mail: cepex.drd@cepex.org.tn

    Publishing date: 2000

    • Trade Secrets - Turkey

    IGEME-Export Promotion Center of Turkey

    Mithatpasa Cad., No. 60

    06420 Kizilay-Ankara, Turkey

    Fax: +90 312 4172233

    E-mail: igeme@igeme.org.tr

    Publishing date: 1999

    • Trade Secrets - Uganda

    Uganda Export Promotion Board

    P.O. Box 5045, Kampala, Uganda

    Fax: +256 41 259779

    E-mail: uepc@starcom.co.ug

    Publishing date: 1999

    • Trade Secrets - United Republic of Tanzania

    Board of External Trade

    NPF Building, Bibi Titi Mohamed Street

    P.O. Box 5402, Dar es Salaam

    United Republic of Tanzania

    Fax: +255 51 851700

    Publishing date: 2000

    • Trade Secrets - Venezuela

    Banco de Comercio Exterior de Venezuela

    Calle Los Chaguaramos, Urb. La Castellana

    Centro Gerencial Mohedano, piso 1

    Distrito Federal, Caracas, Venezuela

    Fax: +582 265 6722

    E-mail: elianag@bancoex.com

    Publishing date: 2000

    • Trade Secrets - Zimbabwe

    Kurima House

    89 Nelson Mandela Avenue

    Harare, Zimbabwe

    Fax: +263 4 706930

    E-mail: info@zimtrade.co.zw

    Publishing date: 1999

    If Your Country's Name is not on the List
    Developing Your National Version

    If a national or regional version is not available, you may consider approaching your national trade support institution to publish a version in your country. Government, non-profit or commercially-oriented organizations with national standing interested in publishing a country version of Trade Secrets are encouraged to become network partners.

    Becoming a network partner 

    1. Request Information Pack from ITC. 

    2. Articulate in a letter to ITC the organization's background and national standing; proposed time frame to complete the survey, assemble questions, draft answers, compile resources section, prepare first draft, final layout and printing; national marketing and distribution plan; and budget for personnel, printing and marketing. Include the organization's most recent annual report. 

    3. ITC will evaluate the commitment, credibility and competence of the partner. If the partnership proposal is accepted by ITC, the terms and conditions for the Joint Publication Arrangements will be confirmed through a written agreement. 

    4. Upon signing the Joint Publication Agreement, ITC will furnish the national partner organization with a copy of both the Guidelines for National Adaptation and the Generic Version of Trade Secrets: The Export Answer Book (2nd ed.). 

    5. The partner organization then produces and launches the publication with ITC guidance and technical advice. The process is accomplished in accordance with the Guidelines for National Adaptation. This manual explains how to research, write and adapt the publication by explaining the steps partner institutions need to undertake as they develop a practical, results-based guide to exporting. 

    The national development process 

    Below is the typical process undertaken to produce a national version, based on a 12-month time frame.

    Appoint writing team

    • Identify editor and research assistants and business librarian, if needed.

    • Send letter to ITC on the names and qualifications of the final team.

    Survey business community

    • Determine survey method (one-on-one/focus group, facsimile, phone or mail).

    • Develop standardized survey instrument.

    • Identify firms and organizations to survey.

    • Send survey introduction letter.

    • Survey international business community.

    • Transcribe respondents' answers in the form of questions.

    • Compile names of respondents to include in acknowledgments.

    • Send complete list of questions gathered from the survey process to ITC.

    Categorize questions

    • List all questions gathered as a result of the survey.

    • Place all questions into appropriate categories.

    • Eliminate duplicate, highly technical questions.

    • Pare the complete list of questions to 100.

    • Send listing to entrepreneurs to validate or change focus of questions.

    • Send final list of questions to ITC.

    Answer questions

    • Identify who from the writing team will answer which questions/sections.

    • Identify who from the writing team will gather related resources.

    • Review generic answers drafted by ITC.

    • Select text from ITC answers that will be used to answer country questions.

    • Adapt, revise, or rewrite ITC answers.

    • Conduct interviews with in-country subject matter experts to answer questions.

    • Review resources to answer questions.

    • Finalize text to questions/answers.

    Compile resources

    • Contact organizations for information on relevant export-focused resources.

    • Select 300 resources which relate to the questions selected.

    • Describe the resources.

    • Accompany each question and answer with one to three relevant resources.

    • Include resources in the appendix section by categorical section (optional).

    • Ensure every resource listed in the question and answer section is listed in appendix (optional).

    • Send resource list to ITC at first edit.

    Edit, design and print the publication

    • Create a draft of the publication.

    • Identify experts to review the text to ensure accuracy and consistency.

    • List these experts separately in the acknowledgments section.

    • Send first draft to ITC.

    • ITC sends comments on selection of questions, resources, content, accuracy, depth, style, formatting, grammar, language and overall quality.

    • Send second draft to ITC.

    • ITC reviews and, upon approval, grants permission to print.

    • Print publication.

    • Send a minimum of 30 copies of the publication to ITC.

    Market the publication

    • Plan a marketing campaign.

    • Obtain testimonials for experts who have previewed the publication.

    • Develop marketing material.

    • Send copy of the marketing material to ITC for input.

    • Obtain feedback about the publication through a survey of readers.

    ITC's partnership approach 

    ITC's technical assistance to developing countries includes development of generic products that are adapted at the national level. These tools allow national partner institutions such as government ministries, training institutions, industry associations, universities, chambers of commerce and banks to offer appropriate solutions by adapting ITC's product to local needs. How to Approach Banks and Trade Secrets: The Export Answer Book are two examples of publications developed by ITC for national customization. Other ITC generic tools which can be customized nationally include the software-based International Competitiveness Gauge, a confidential and affordable benchmarking service for SMEs; the Export Fitness Checker, a software-based checklist for export readiness and Buying into Competitiveness, a set of products to help SMEs strengthen their international purchasing and supply management.

    Throughout the customization process, ITC trains the network partner and gives technical feedback at critical junctures and monitors overall project implementation.

    For Trade Secrets, limited financial assistance is available to least developed countries. It is also possible for national partner institutions to arrange their own supplementary project financing by exploring national technical assistance projects, United Nations Development Programme activities and bilateral donor agency programmes.

    Developing countries are provided materials, training (when available) and technical assistance at no charge. With the exception of least developed countries, all countries are expected to assume the costs of writing, publishing, marketing and distributing the publication.

    Developed countries can have access to materials, training and technical assistance under specific conditions to be mutually agreed upon.

    To receive copies of these ITC materials, national organizations should contact Sarah McCue, Adviser (Practical Guides), at mccue@intracen.org 

    Trade Secrets - Material Available 

    Languages: Arabic, English, French, Spanish 

    • Trade Secrets fact sheet

    • Information Pack

    • Model Joint Publication Agreement

    • Generic version of Trade Secrets

    • Guidelines for National Adaptation

    • Customization Process Training Programme

    • National Survey Templates