Press releases

China to partner with ITC in boosting export capacities of Asian LDCs

13 March 2014
ITC News
New project to promote SME development and intraregional trade

(Geneva/Beijing) China is partnering with the International Trade Centre (ITC) in enhancing the export capacities of six least developed countries (LDCs) in Asia. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Myanmar and Nepal will be given a boost to enable them to capitalise on intraregional trade with China.

ITC's Executive Director Arancha González announced this in Beijing on 13 March 2014 during a visit to China where she held talks with authorities at the Ministry of Commerce, China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, and Federation of Logistics and Purchasing. Ms González praised the government of China for its role in fostering trade crossflows with neighbouring LDCs.

'This is an example of South-South partnership between China, the leading economy in East Asia, and six neighbouring LDCs. China has adopted a duty-free and quota-free scheme in favour  of LDCs, and this project will help translate market access opportunities into tangible benefits for small businesses,' said Ms González.

'China is a strategic market for Asian LDCs to further integrate into the multilateral trading system and into value chains,' she added. 'These countries can learn from China's experience and benefit from knowledge and technology transfer.'

The three-year project, which kicks off this month, will see ITC providing technical expertise in capacity-building of SMEs in the six Asian LDCs to facilitate better access to the Chinese market. They will be made familiar with import regulations, customs procedures, certification requirements and market entry strategies. The SMEs will be provided with trade-related information, including surveys; a web-based trade information portal; and a business guide book; as well as being included in business networks; match-making events among buyers and suppliers; and trade fairs. Trade support institutions in the six Asian LDCs will be involved in this joint venture to support their local SMEs in making inroads into China's vast market.

China is one of the main trading partners of LDCs with metals, minerals and precious stones forming the bulk of exports to China. In 2012, China's imports totalled $1.8 billion, with more than half of the volume originating from Asia. This ITC-China project will facilitate preferential market access for LDCs to the Chinese market.

Tomorrow (14 March), the Executive Director will deliver a speech at the University of Beijing on the role of China as a partner in global trade and investment.

Note to Editor 

ITC is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. ITC assists small and medium-sized enterprises in developing and transition economies to become more competitive in global markets, thereby contributing to sustainable economic development within the frameworks of the Aid for Trade agenda and the Millennium Development Goals.