Building trust, recognizing excellence in trade promotion
Experts explore the changing role of trade and investment promotion organizations at a global conference in Paris, France, and institutions from Ghana, Nigeria and Qatar win big
In a rapidly changing and increasingly digital world, building trust remains the constant.
That’s according to trade and investment experts from around the world who gathered at the 2018 World Trade Promotion Organization Conference in Paris, France, on 25-26 October. The biennial conference – co-hosted this year by the International Trade Centre (ITC) and Business France – explored the theme of trade and investment ecosystems: delivering for growth.
With the rise of digital platforms, trade and investment promotion organizations have a new opportunity to become trust builders between businesses, buyers and institutions – a role that cannot be replaced by technology – and to focus on broad-based, inclusive economic growth, as well as to strengthen partnerships. In other words, collaborate to compete.
More than 120 institutions from 95 countries participated in the event.
As part of the conference, trade and investment promotion organizations received awards for innovation and excellence in export-development initiatives that focus on helping micro, small and medium-sized enterprises to compete in global markets.
The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) won for best use of information technology. Its online Market Hub provides exporters and external buyers 24/7 access to trade information.
‘Digital technologies make everything easier for Ghana exporters,’ said GEPA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Afua Asabea Asare. ‘The Market Hub is a one-stop shop for everything good about exports.’
The award of recognition in this category went to Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE) for its online platform, Cleantech CUBE, which promotes Swiss suppliers of clean technologies to foreign markets.
The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) won for best initiative towards inclusive and sustainable trade for its Zero to Export initiative, which trains exporters on the export process, provides advice on products and markets, and enhances their marketing and management skills.
‘Many of the people we have trained are women exporters, and they are now helping their communities,’ said NEPC CEO Olusegun Awolowo.
The award of recognition went to the Export Development Authority of Egypt for its Green Trade Initiative, which builds the export capacity of small and medium-sized enterprises, especially those selling agricultural products to Europe.
QDB/TASDEER, an arm of the Qatar Development Bank, won for best use of a partnership. Working with Business France, it has diversified into healthcare, engineering, information technology and jewellery, reaching new export markets such as China, Oman, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Turkey.
‘This is an honour for us,’ said QDB/TASDEER Executive Director Hassan Al Mansoori. ‘It’s a combination of hard work and a good partnership with Business France.’
The award of recognition went to the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) for its Export Voucher Programme, which offers a ‘cash-like coupon’ for businesses to purchase export support services online.
The Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry received a special award from ITC Executive Director Arancha González for its work to raise incomes and create jobs in rural areas through value-added sea buckthorn – a local berry – and sheep wool.
The Ghana Export Promotion Authority will host the next World Trade Promotion Organization Conference in Accra in 2020.