China an economic beacon for developing countries
The rise of China over the past 50 years has transformed the global trade environment through its steady and impactful growth, said the Executive Director of the International Trade Centre (ITC) Arancha González. She commended China for its impressive growth figures, with a GDP of around 7 per cent, which runs above the global average, coupled with a growing middle class, and 'a solid footprint on the world's political stage'. Ms González praised the Chinese for their entrepreneurship and expertise in creating some of the most widely known technology products in the market, and expressed ITC's interest in partnering China to foster economic empowerment for entrepreneurship among least developed countries.
Addressing students at Peking University on 14 March 2014, Ms González stated that trade is one of the elements that have made China an economic miracle and the country is viewed by other developing countries as a beacon and blueprint for their own development trajectories.
'China and other emerging economies have much to contribute to the global discourse on trade and development,' said Ms González. 'Trade-led growth and innovation is now a firm part of Chinese society. The country has much to share with the world which can be harnessed for the improvement of lives in other developing countries, particularly in least developed countries. Partnership must become part of the fibre of China's interactions with other developing countries, as well as international organisations such as the ITC.'
Ms González said the post-2015 development agenda provides an opportunity for a partnership-led approach to tackling poverty, global unemployment and socio-economic inequalities. She stressed that trade and economic growth need to be at the core of sustainable development goals. Without a strong, predictable and sustainable economic base, Ms González voiced her fear for the health of populations, the ability of governments to manage poverty reduction and environmental sustainability. She underlined the importance of paying special attention to vulnerable populations - women and youth - to help empower them through job creation and economic enterprise.
'In developing countries, women-owned companies represent close to 40 per cent of all small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Women re-invest up to 90 per cent of their earnings back into the social unit, including on health and education of children. Women want to be involved in productive activities. They can offer and lead on innovative business solutions.'
Ms González stated that an increase in sourcing from women entrepreneurs can help them to develop their businesses. The ITC, she said, brings corporate and government buyers together with women entrepreneurs to facilitate catalytic business relationships.
'ITC's primary focus is to help SMEs to internationalise by becoming competitive and export-ready; to increase productive capacities; to enhance understanding of markets; create employment opportunities; and support growth and development though trade. We help SMEs to recognise and realise their potential as global incubators for growth,' said Ms González.