Finland Boosts its Funding for ITC Projects to 3.4 million Euros
Finland has pledged to contribute €1.6 million to International Trade Centre (ITC) projects in 2010 followed by a further €1.8 million in 2011, a total of €3.4 million for 2010 and 2011.
‘We are deeply grateful to Finland for this vote of confidence. Its continuing, strong financial support reflects our common commitment to ensuring that smaller businesses in developing countries benefit from world trade, to gender equality and to sustainable development,’ ITC Executive Director Patricia R. Francis said.
Finland's Ambassador, H.E. Mr. Hannu Himanen said ‘Our support to ITC reflects Finland’s strong commitment to the global Aid for Trade initiative. ITC plays an important role in building the capacity of small businesses in developing countries to benefit from international trade. In particular, enabling women entrepreneurs to benefit from trade is critical to reducing poverty and reaching the MDGs.’
A significant part of the funding will be dedicated, as in previous years, to promoting the use of information and communications technologies to strengthen the capacity of women to take advantage of trade opportunities. It will also be dedicated to facilitating access to trade finance for small and medium-sized businesses and encouraging South-South regional trade.
The needs of least developed countries will be high on the agenda when it comes to deciding how the Finnish contribution is employed.
Finland is an active supporter of the global Aid for Trade initiative, which helps developing countries, particularly the least developed, build the skills and infrastructure needed to be successful traders. Everything that ITC does is geared towards Aid for Trade and its work contributes directly to 3 of the 5 pillars of the initiative.
This contribution maintains the steady rise in funding that Finland has accorded to ITC over the years. Their contribution last year was €1.5 million.