Trade Forum Features

Anniversary greetings from ITC’s partners

1 July 2014
ITC News
Ban Ki-moon, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Francis Gurry, Guy Ryder, and Li Yong congratulates ITC on its 50th anniversary
Ban Ki Moon, Secretary-General, United Nations

I am pleased to congratulate the International Trade Centre (ITC) on the occasion of its 50th anniversary.

Over the past half century, the ITC team and its partners have helped advance sustainable growth and improve economic opportunities for people around the world. The ITC has enabled small and medium-sized enterprises in developing countries to boost exports by enhancing the competitiveness of their goods and services, and connecting them to global value chains.

Through these efforts, the ITC has helped in our common efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals. As we now accelerate our work to achieve the MDGs and formulate a post-2015 development agenda, the ITC will continue to be crucial in fostering inclusive economic growth and poverty eradication through trade.

As the ITC marks this milestone, I would like to recognize the important work you do to advance global development, promote equitable growth and improve people’s lives around the world.

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, United Nations Under-Secretary-General, Executive Director of UN Women

UN Women and ITC are natural allies in promoting policies and actions for women’s economic empowerment. Together we are pushing the Women's Empowerment Principles, especially Principle Number 5 to support women-owned enterprises and women entrepreneurs, and promote gender equality in enterprise development, supply chain and marketing. We are also working with market women.

ITC is valued for its expertise and expansive and dynamic network, including tens of thousands of women entrepreneurs. As an organization, it has the business contacts to get things done!

In the future, the focus should continue to be on inclusiveness and sustainability, and advancing women and trade. UN Women looks forward to working together with the ITC in the next 50 years to advance women’s rights, women’s empowerment and gender equality.

Francis Gurry, Director-General, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)


WIPO-ITC projects combine the advantages of the two organizations to foster sustainable economic development through innovation, trade and international business development. WIPO works with ITC on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as well as on our strengthened cooperation in projects for value addition in the agro-foods supply and value chain through a strategic use of the intellectual property system.

As a joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations, ITC harnesses the specificities of both to focus and organize that expertise in a practical way to connect SMEs in developing countries and transition economies to the global trading system, delivering real impact in terms of development goals.

In the coming years, equitable economic growth and poverty eradication will depend on sustainable businesses, in particular SMEs, that can trade freely, create jobs and be competitive locally, regionally and globally. ITC is uniquely placed to help facilitate an enabling environment. WIPO looks forward to continuing its work with ITC for the next 50 years, and beyond.

Guy Ryder, Director-General, International Labour Organization (ILO)

Globalization has the potential to stimulate productivity and growth – but only when trade, employment and social policies are pursued in tandem. This has not always been the case, but together, the work of the ILO and ITC can help build a harmonious relationship between trade, decent work and development.

For the ILO, ITC’s uniqueness derives from the way it complements the work that we do. ITC focuses on many of the same priorities as the ILO in terms of fair and sustainable economic development, but it looks at them through a different lens and asks different questions.

ITC’s mandate is strong and clear. In my opinion, it should continue to concentrate on helping developing and transition economies to raise the quality of life for their populations through more and better trade. This is a challenge that will take you well into the next 50 years and one in which the ILO is ready to help.

Li Yong, Director-General, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)

As United Nations agencies, we are particularly called upon to make a decisive contribution to the achievement of the upcoming Sustainable Development Goals. UNIDO has partnerships with ITC in a number of country programmes in Africa, Asia, and the Arab region.

We value highly the complementarity of ITC’s trade-promotion expertise with our own services in the area of trade capacity-building. Together, ITC and UNIDO effectively support countries in their quest for inclusive and sustainable industrial development, shared prosperity and a bright future, in particular for women and young people in developing countries.

ITC has a great specialization in export-strategy development and in providing market intelligence and export-related business advisory services such as marketing and branding. ITC’s expertise is a valuable contribution to United Nations-wide programmes to make value-chain actors in developing countries fit for exports.