Businesses strike success at World Export Development Forum (en)
(Doha) – Tentative deals worth more than US$ 80 million were made during business-to-business (B2B) meetings at the World Export Development Forum (WEDF) in Doha, Qatar, which was organized by the International Trade Centre (ITC) and hosted by the Ministry of Economy and Commerce of the State of Qatar through the Qatar Development Bank.
Following two days of meetings between companies from across the world, around 90 letters of intent were announced cutting across a variety of sectors.
Pledges were made food and beverage, plastics, services and tourism sectors.
More than 700 people from 92 countries attended the event, including 26 least developed countries. Five trade promotion organizations from Bangladesh, Egypt, Georgia, Nigeria and Viet Nam, signed an agreement to support trade development among each other.
ITC Executive Director Arancha González said: ‘The incredibly productive B2B sessions have yielded around 90 declarations of intent to do business worth a total of US$ 80m.’
‘The prospective deals cut across sectors, from bottled water and juice production to distribution services. Significantly, most of the deals were for South-South trade and investment,’ she said.
Hassan Khalifa Al Mansoori, Executive Director of QDB, said that SMEs play an important role in Qatar’s diversification efforts. ‘We are extremely proud to have hosted a successful WEDF. Even more so given the number of potential business deals that have been agreed here in Doha,’ he said.
On WEDF’s last day, ITC unveiled a new publication and an online standards tool on halal, which seek to help businesses capture the potential of the trillion dollar global halal market.
‘The halal food sector offers large and growing market for small and medium-sized enterprises seeking to diversify and gain a competitive edge in this area,’ González said.
From Niche to Mainstream: Halal Goes Global is the first publication to provide an overview of the global halal food and beverage market. It provides trade data, consumer trends, farm-to-fork challenges in the supply chain, and recommendations for trade and investment support institutions to promote a national halal industry. An Arabic version of the publication’s executive summary is already available.
Because of the need for producers to comply with a variety of standards to gain access to markets, ITC has developed the ITC Halal Standards Map to help suppliers navigate the maze of halal standards around the world. The tool has reliable information for relevant standards, helps users identify appropriate audit systems and institutions, and allows businesses to self-assess their compliance against standards of relevance to them.
During the two-day event in Doha, speakers addressed the unique challenges and opportunities faced by SMEs in developing countries and economies in transition. They explored how these businesses, which account for the bulk of employment around the world, can be empowered to use international trade and investment to drive growth and job creation.
WEDF consisted of four plenary sessions and four parallel breakout sessions, alongside structured and informal B2B meetings that allowed participating SMEs to meet potential customers, suppliers, and investors.
In her closing remarks, González also announced that Sri Lanka will be the host of the 2016 edition of WEDF. That event will be organized in partnership with the Sri Lanka Export Development Board. Exact dates for WEDF 2016 will be revealed shortly. Previous editions of WEDF have been held in China, Turkey and Rwanda, among others.'
Notes to the Editor
From Niche to Mainstream: Halal Goes Global can be downloaded here: http://www.intracen.org/publication/From-niche-to-mainstream---Halal-Goes-Global/
An Arabic version of the publication’s executive summary can be downloaded here: http://www.intracen.org/publication/From-niche-to-mainstream-Halal-Goes-Global-Arabic/
To learn more about the ITC Halal Standards Map, please visit: http://www.standardsmap.org/halal/
About the International Trade Centre
ITC is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. ITC assists small and medium-sized enterprises in developing and transition economies to become more competitive in global markets, thereby contributing to sustainable economic development within the frameworks of the Aid-for-Trade agenda and the Millennium Development Goals.
About the Qatar Development Bank
Qatar Development Bank was established in 1997, a 100% government-owned developmental organization. Its primary aim was to develop investments within local industries, accelerating growth and economic diversification in Qatar through support for private sector. QDB has launched a number of strategic initiatives and programs, all designed to directly contribute to the economic growth and development of Qatar.
QDB’s strategy is entirely in line with QNV 2030. It is focused on promoting and facilitating the growth of the private sector in Qatar within key economic channels. This support will enable the development of long term, sustainable social and economic benefits across the economy.