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    From the Editor


    © International Trade Centre, International Trade Forum - Issue 3/1999

    New directions, new partnerships, new tools. This issue features recent ITC information products that help businesses and countries stay on track in today's fast-changing business world. Based on innovative alliances, new information technologies and cutting-edge research, these products reflect ITC's new directions for developing and delivering targeted support to those who need it most.

    The Close Up section features Trade Secrets, a one-stop source which answers the most common exporting questions of small and medium-sized exporters. ITC currently has agreements with 30 countries to publish national versions of this reference guide. These partner-ships are proving to be very effective in tailoring research to local needs, and in reaching first-time exporters through the most relevant local networks.

    In another successful partnership, ITC and the Commonwealth Secretariat are launching the Business Guide to the World Trading System. This publication is the successor to one of ITC's most requested publications, the Business Guide to the Uruguay Round.

    In an ongoing collaborative venture with our readers, the Partners News and Views section reports on how institutions use this magazine, the Trade Forum, to reach their own audiences.

    This issue brings greater coverage of ITC's international trade bulletins. It also highlights information products in non-print media that complement ITC's publications.

    New CD-ROMs are featured, including the launch of the Export Fitness Checker, a new tool to help companies assess export readiness, based on a computerized checklist. ITC's web site, too, continues to be highlighted for Forum readers - in this issue, drawing upon the Services Exporting Homepage to develop the market profile on business tourism.

    It is in everyone's interest to extend trade to developing countries - a theme we develop in this issue's Exporting Better section. We are developing new tools and services to help readers meet the triple challenges of globalization, new forms of partnership and rapid development of information technology. We encourage you to use this issue to take the fullest advantage of ITC's publications, CD-ROMs, bulletins, web sites and other information tools.