World Export Development Forum 2023
The World Export Development Forum (WEDF) is the annual flagship event of the International Trade Centre (ITC). This year's event, hosted by the Government of Mongolia, marks the 20th edition of WEDF. The conference gathers participants from around the world to talk trade, do business and drive development. It is a unique opportunity to bring together the voice of small business, women, young entrepreneurs, policymakers and international organizations.
This year’s conference explores trade-led solutions to challenges caused by conflict, climate, COVID and rising costs. The theme, `Diversify with Green Trade`, explores organic, digital and sustainable solutions to multiple crises. WEDF is a global conference, bringing insights and good practices from the across globe. This year’s event reaches out especially to Asia-Pacific countries as well as landlocked developing countries.
- Conference Debates on Trade Diversification and Green Export Opportunities (27-28 June)
- Private Sector Consultations: Landlocked Developing Countries
- Young Social Entrepreneurs Competition
- Mongolia SheTrades Hub Launch
- National Export Strategy Workshop
- Mongolian Nomad cultural experience
Landlocked Developing Countries and Business Meetings
Monday 26 June
The first four focus areas in the Vienna Programme of Action impact businesses directly. Four parallel roundtable discussions set the scene for a forty-minute concluding discussion. Dialogues among business representatives for each of these areas will be documented and feed into the priorities of the 2024 UN Conference on LLDCs.
Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day
Tuesday 27 June
Green, Digital and Inclusive Trade
Wednesday 28 June
Thursday 29 June
launched at the end of 2023.
Businesses in Mongolia are specially invited to this workshop. It is designed to bring the voice of business to export strategy development. The workshop will explore priority sectors for trade development. It will feature international experts and national government officials will be present.
Mongolia is developing a national export strategy with the World Bank and the International Trade Centre, with the aim to diversify trade. The focal point in the government is the Ministry of Food, Agriculture, Light Industry, and other government ministries are also involved.
A second day of closed-door discussions will take place among those directly involved in developing the strategy.
Buses leave the Shangri-La at 10:00 and return at 14:00. The programme includes a traditional Mongolian lunch.
The International Trade Centre's Youth Ecopreneur Award was open for applications until 10 May 2023, searching for young innovators in the green economy who are building solutions to create a more sustainable world.
This year, a special prize for land restoration will also be awarded.
Get in touch with us for further questions at hello [at] lebone.com and youthecopreneurawards [at] intracen.org.
The top four finalists (one from Mongolia and three from other countries) will travel to Ulaanbaatar to pitch their businesses live on stage at WEDF in front of a panel of judges, business experts, investors, and governments on 27 June 2023.
To be eligible...
- Must be a youth (under 35)
- Must be majority run by a young person.
- Must be registered in an eligible country. See the list here.
- Must promote sustainability, circularity, and/ or the green economy
This year, we are partnering with the G20 Global Land Initiative at the UN Convention to Combat Desertification. Together we're excited to announce a special award in land restoration. The top three finalists will travel to Ulaanbaatar to pitch their business live on the WEDF stage.
To be eligible...
Must be a youth (under 35)
The business must be active in:
- Reforestation or afforestation
- Wetland restoration
- Cleanup of contaminated land
- Invasive species control
- Stream and river restoration
- Soil conservation and enrichment
- Erosion control
- Agroforestry and carbon farming
- Forest or urban woodland fire management
- Use of modern technology for any of the above.
Note: Please check for biweekly updates on visas, hotels, flights and tourism packages
Participation in WEDF 2023 and business development meetings are free of charge and subject to confirmation by the organizers. Participants are responsible for their travel and accommodation costs.
WEDF, including its related events, takes place from Monday, 26 June through Thursday, 29 June. The Official Opening will be in the morning of 27 June. The Official Closing will be in the afternoon of 28 June.
Before the official opening, on Monday 26 June, related events include the launch of a SheTrades Hub for Mongolia, an LLDC Private Sector Preparatory Meeting, and Business Clinics.
After the closing, on Thursday 29 June, there will be a capacity-building day, dedicated to organic certification, quality management system, market linkages and e-commerce training.
The event takes place in English. Simultaneous interpretation from and into Mongolian will be offered for WEDF plenary sessions.
Mongolia: business development
Mongolia's commitment to diversifying into non-traditional export areas, as well as its young population, present exciting opportunities for businesses looking to expand into new markets. Mongolia positions itself as a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship.
The country has demonstrated its commitment to developing its non-mining sectors, with a particular focus on agribusiness, prioritizing pine nuts and services, as well as tourism and ICT. Particularly, Mongolia supports women entrepreneurs and youth businesses.
Entry requirements for Mongolia
Mongolia allows many countries to travel to its country without a visa. For a full list of visa-exempt countries and length of permitted stays, click here.
For countries which are not on this list and hence require a visa, Mongolian immigration authorities have guaranteed visa-on-arrival for all registered WEDF participants. The registration process will collect your passport and other basic information, which will be provided to the Mongolia Department of Immigration. You will then receive a signed and stamped letter from the Department confirming your eligibility for visa-on-arrival, so that you can depart from your port of origin without complication.
Accommodation and meals
Participants are expected to make their own accommodation arrangements.
The hotels below are examples for participants to consider.
During the conference, lunch and coffee/tea breaks are offered on 27 and 28 June. Dinner is also offered on 27 June.
Travel to Mongolia
Chinggis Khaan International Airport is 52 km south of the country’s capital, Ulaanbaatar. Opened in 2021, it is Mongolia’s largest airport. Four shuttle buses connect travelers to the capital. Among the airlines offering the most frequent travel to Mongolia are:
To obtain preferential flight rates to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia on Mongolian Airlines, please contact Ms. Ts. Azzaya at Tapatrip LLC:
Email: azzaya [at] tapatrip.com
Phone: +976 8515 4444
While Mongolian is the official language, there are two additional languages that are widely spoken in Mongolia, namely Chinese and Russian.
The local currency in Mongolia is the Tughrik. ATM machines are available in major hotels and at the Chinggis Khan International Airport (on its second floor). We recommend that participants also bring US dollars. The official daily foreign exchange rates can be explored at the Central Bank of Mongolia.
Credit cards can be used at upmarket shops, major hotels and many restaurants in the capital. For small businesses and markets, and outside of the capital, local currency is required.
Five sightseeing tours are available for WEDF participants after the conference. Brochures with detailed information and pricing can be found here at the bottom of the page.
All tours are available for a fee and must be reserved by the delegate directly with the tour operator. A 10% discount can be applied to four of the five packages for WEDF participants. The discount can not be applied to the "Wild Wild South-Gobi Tour" package.
Commitment to common challenges
The International Trade Centre evaluates host country requests for their commitment, geopolitical significance and the possibility to be a springboard for longer-term impact in the country, the region and beyond.
- Geopolitically important for its strategic location between Europe and Asia, and firmly committed to multilateralism.
- A thought leader on issues facing landlocked nations, through its International Think Tank for Landlocked Developing Countries.
- A global leader on battling deforestation through its ‘1 billion trees by 2030’ initiative.
- Open for new business and investment outside of the traditional mining sector, with potential in services as well as value-added agribusiness.
- An emerging actor in technology-enabled trade to overcome landlocked challenges through digital services, software innovation development and fintech.
- Host to a vibrant small business sector, including an educated workforce of women and youth-led firms.
Mongolia’s commitment to hosting the World Export Development Forum comes from the highest levels in the country and the private sector, including the Office of the President, the Parliament, key ministries and the Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Many institutions in the international development community are committed to supporting the path to diversify exports in Mongolia, the region and beyond. They, too, see the World Export Development Forum as a catalyst to shift awareness and action to make trade sustainable, green and inclusive. They see in this event the opportunity to:
- Feed into global discussions on common trade challenges.
- Hear new perspectives on making trade more inclusive for women and youth.
- Share expertise with a very targeted, relevant network.
- Work together on solutions that are replicable and adaptable to many contexts.
- Discover business opportunities and gain awareness on capacity-building needs.
Through WEDF 2023, Mongolia signals its intent to carve out a cutting-edge, inclusive and practical trade development path. This path resonates with ITC’s strategic approach to trade development and those of its partner institutions.