3 septiembre 2015
ITC Noticias

Ladies and gentlemen

These three days of the Trailblazers Summit and the Women Vendors Exhibition Forum have been a resounding success. You all deserve an applause.

It was successful for a number of reasons. Many of which I will mention shortly. But first and foremost it is a success because we are all passionate about women's economic empowerment and we all arrived here in Brazil to talk business and to do business!

I must thank Apexbrasil and the government of Brazil for hosting this conference so efficiently and effectively. You have shown the energy and the welcoming spirit of Brazil and you have been a true partner to ITC.

More than 500 persons from over 40 countries have been here this week. Over 400 companies have participated in the B2B meetings. We have truly reflected the diversity of the United Nations over these past three days.

On Tuesday at the Trailblazers Summit we made a collective commitment: A call to action to bring one million women to market by 2020. This call to action has already been retailed around the globe. We are accountable. It is our contract with ourselves and those one million women in Africa, Latin America, Europe, the Caribbean, the Pacific, the Middle East, Asia who are setting up their own businesses, innovating, thinking, stepping from the shadows. We have a commitment to these women-our sisters. And this is a commitment to our brothers too. Empowering women economically and giving them the dignity that accompanies entrepreneurship is good for everyone. And cannot be achieved without men and women working together.

It's been proven- after all a women invests 90% of her income back into the community. Investing in women is just good business.

At the trailblazers summit we were joined by thought leaders and entrepreneurs from around the world. The discussions were robust and focused and the call to action is a comprehensive framework that will guide the development of strategies and programmes to integrate women more fully into the global economy.

The call to action is focussed on 8 key pillars:

1.Data collection, analysis and dissemination,
2.Trade Policy,
3.Corporate Procurement,
4.Public Procurement,
6.Addressing Supply Side Constraints,
7. Financial Services and
8. Ownership Rights.

Governments, corporations, the development community and others adopted this call to action and announced commitments that will contribute to the achievement of the ambitious goal to bring 1m women to market.

ITC committed to ensuring that women benefit from 40% of its actions: this includes receiving market intelligence, support to increasing their export competitiveness, and assistance accessing regional and international markets. I also welcome the commitment made by Apexbrasil to bring 6000 women to market. This is an excellent start.

The call to action is a guiding framework for us to populate and monitor our commitments to achieve our common goal. We must hold this as our shared calling card wherever we go: the W20 this weekend in Turkey, the 2030 agenda to be adopted in New York later this month, the ITC and Government of Kenya's Women in Business event in Nairobi in December and other events and gatherings where highlighting the role of women in global trade is needed. To turn this plan into reality, we call on you, on all stakeholders, to join us and contribute with initiatives that support the advancement of the 8 pillars.

At the trailblazers summit ITC also launched the Procurement Map which is a new tool to help businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, navigate the opportunities to bid for public procurement contracts around the world. Public procurement is a critical source of business for enterprises run by women, and it is an excellent tool to tap into the trillion dollar procurement market. Take this procurement map as your compass going forward.

I have always stressed that this is an event to talk business and to do business. Yesterday we were filled with the inspiring stories of our champions who shared their experiences- their struggles and their achievements- to get to where they have gotten. And we had our B2Bs which brought a large, diverse group of dynamic and talented entrepreneurs together. The outcome was fantastic. Up to 18.5 million dollars’ worth of deals and leads were concluded and hundreds of relationships formed.

And behind these numbers we had some exciting stories.

1. An Indian services company negotiating a transaction for online training services to a large multinational;
2. A Nigerian logistics company doing business with a Brazilian advertising & marketing company to develop business opportunities in the Brazilian market, and establishing a partnership with a Brazilian company to do the shipping of goods between Nigeria and Brazil.
3. Indian and South African companies negotiating a partnership to develop a green chemicals business in South Africa, starting with a market trial with the potential to develop a franchising model to sell green chemicals into the South African Market.
4. A Multinational company in the food industry purchasing transportation services from a Brazilian company.
5. Norwegian coffee company negotiating purchase of micro-lots from a Guatemalan company
6. An El Salvador company which recycles waste in innovative ways to mitigate climate change was able to make three deals in this important area of the green economy

Before we kicked off the B2B meetings we trained hundreds of women vendors across the Services, IT, Coffee and Gourmet Food sectors. What was so exciting was the engagement of corporations in the training sessions. For example the IT training was delivered in partnership with the real experts: CI&T, Google, and tech guru Bedy Yang. And the coffee sector training brought in expertise from illy Café.

The exhibition area was a hive of activity. Illy Café and the Brazilian Speciality Coffees Association hosted a fascinating exhibition with coffee talks and coffee tasting, whilst over in the tech space we had pocket trainings provided by Google and CI&T throughout the event on a range of topics such as diversity, adwords, google my business and so on.

We also held a TPO workshop to discuss the role and practices of TPOs in supporting women owned businesses. The key message? TPOs and trade and investment support institutions are the multipliers on the ground.

And then we had our tech challenge. The first of this kind that ITC has introduced. At ITC when we speak to buyers the single biggest challenge they face in doing businesses with WBEs is finding eligible women vendors. So to solve this issue, ITC decided to call on a portfolio of talented developers through an open call, to create a solution for us that will help identify and make visible the millions of women owned companies around the world who are seeking market opportunities. Here I profoundly thank our partners Google and CI&T and I look forward to a long and productive partnership with you as we continue to develop this App and to support further tech challenges including one that we will launch in a few weeks in anticipation of our women in business event in Nairobi in December. I invite Google and CI&T to join us on that occasion and create even greater opportunities for young entrepreneurs.

In just a week, 300 developers from around the world applied to participate in the WVEF TECH challenge 2015! I once again congratulate Green Bell communications from Kenya and team behind the 'empower it' app from Brazil.

Ladies and gentlemen, friends

This had been an exciting and invigorating three days. We should be proud.

Before I close I am very happy to announce that WVEF 2016 will be held in Turkey. I look forward to seeing you all there

Thank you