e-Trade for Impact strategy launched

21 March 2018
ITC News
Digital solutions turbo-charging ITC’s reach and effectiveness

The International Trade Centre (ITC) today unveiled its new strategy for using e-commerce and online platforms to foster inclusive growth at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), The WSIS Forum is an annual multi-stakeholder gathering initiated by the United Nations that aims to bridge the digital divide between developed and developing countries. WSIS 2018’s theme is about leveraging information and communication technology to build information and knowledge societies for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Digital innovation is accelerating. Online platforms and social media offer new routes to market. Emerging technologies are challenging the organization of global value chains. These disruptions bring new opportunities for developing countries, and specifically for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), if accompanied by new capabilities and the implementation of appropriate strategies. Digital technologies offer the potential to accelerate ITC’s reach and effectiveness, and ensure that developing countries and MSMEs benefit from opportunities in a sustainable and inclusive manner.

To do so, ITC’s ‘e-Trade for Impact’ strategy regroups the focus on digital into three areas and promotes collaboration inside and beyond the organization: sharing access to information, strategies, learning and platforms (e-networks), empowering MSMEs in online marketplaces (e-commerce) and growing entrepreneurial ability to capture digital business models’ potential (e-entrepreneurship).

Anders Aeroe, Director, Division and Enterprises and Intuitions at ITC, addressed a high-level policy session at WSIS. He said: ‘At ITC we are building digital into our development work to scale the impact of our interventions. We refer to this as e-Trade for Impact.’ He added, ‘Digital technologies have resulted in new platforms for trade and new possibilities for MSMEs to compete.’

Aeroe pointed to the example of ITC’s SheTrades Initiative, which creates an ecosystem of integrated solutions that empower women economically through trade and investment. As a key component of the Initiative, the SheTrades Platform establishes an online global network, connecting women entrepreneurs, buyers, investors, and partners worldwide. ‘Thanks to digital technologies, the target of bringing one million women entrepreneurs to market by 2020 has nearly been reached with 2 years to spare,’ he told the meeting.

On Thursday 22 March, ITC will host an ‘e-Trade for Impact’ workshop at WSIS, introducing case studies to illustrate the new strategy.