Press releases

Global Award Winners for Trade Promotion Initiatives: Jamaica, Malaysia and Zimbabwe

18 May 2022
ITC News

(Geneva/Accra) Trade promotion organizations from Jamaica, Malaysia and Zimbabwe received this year’s top prizes for launching innovative programmes in their countries that help small firms to benefit from trade opportunities.

The 2022 World Trade Promotion Awards were announced at the World Trade Promotion Organizations Conference and Awards in Accra.

The winners were:

Best use of a partnership

Winner: Jamaica - Jamaica Promotions Organization (JAMPRO)

Runner up: Qatar - Qatar Development Bank and Export Development and Promotion Agency (TASDEER)

Best use of information technology

Winner: Malaysia - Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE)

Runners-up: Austria - Advantage Austria and Canada - Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, Global Affairs Canada

Best initiative for inclusive and sustainable trade

Winner: Zimbabwe - Zimtrade

Runner up: Sri Lanka - Sri Lanka Export Development Board

‘These awards recognize bold, innovative trade promotion organizations at a time of uncertainty. Trade promotion organizations everywhere have been stepping up to provide a lifeline to businesses who so desperately need it,’ Ms. Coke-Hamilton added. ‘These awards offer examples of scalable solutions to inspire trade promotion organizations everywhere.’

The competition, open to all national trade promotion organizations, recognizes excellence in trade support services. The organizations must show that their initiatives help micro, small and medium-sized enterprises to become competitive in international markets.

The jury included the former winners from Georgia, Costa Rica and Sweden; the previous conference host, France; and the current host, Ghana.

Other national shortlisted countries were: Brazil, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia (partnerships); United Republic of Tanzania (information technology); Republic of Korea, the Netherlands, Zambia (sustainable and inclusive trade).

At a glance: Award-winning initiatives for trade promotion

Best use of partnership

Winner: Jamaica – Jamaica Promotions Organization (JAMPRO)

Initiative: Export Max III

Export capacity of 50 SMEs grew through training, mentorship pairings and group financing through this initiative. Jampro teamed up with the Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association and the Jamaica Business Development Corporation for this initiative.

Working with partners meant that JAMPRO could tackle inter-related issues for firms such as capacity building, access to finance, quality and sustainability standards and market growth.

Among the companies, there was 28% sales growth and 100 new buyers; 50% of the non-exporters are now exporting. New markets were opened in Canada, USA, Panama, Japan, Brazil, Grenada, Barbados and other countries.

Runner-up: Qatar – Qatar Development Bank and Export Development and Promotion Agency (TASDEER)

Initiative: ‘Go Global’ Export Accelerator

Tasdeer and the Qatar Development Bank set up a hub for industrial services, preparing 15 key companies through capacity building, export promotion, certifications, reduced shipping rates and more.

Already, 13 of 15 of the companies have international market orders, totalling $13million, with 311 leads for commercial deals. The accelerator is now serving an additional 15 companies with lessons learned from the pilot programme.

Best use of information technology

Winner: Malaysia – Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE)

Initiative: 17th Edition of the Malaysia International Halal Showcase – Virtual Edition

By digitizing the Malaysia International Halal Showcase in 2021, SME exports continued to grow in the halal industry despite Covid-19 disruptions. The virtual showcase opened up new markets and made business connections more convenient and cost-effective.

Runner-up: Austria – Advantage Austria

Initiative: Marketplace Austria for Food and Beverage 2020/2021

Food producers matched up with wholesalers abroad during COVID travel restrictions in an innovative push from Advantage Austria. At a time when travel restrictions nearly stopped the flow of SME exports, Advantage Austria combined virtual business meetings with face-to-face tastings by expanding its B2B platform and using its international office network.

The initiative connected 150 food producers with 250 buyers in 38 countries. It was one of the few business-to-business activities in lockdown. The initiative also reduced costs, staff time and the environmental footprint for business matchmaking.

Runner-up: Canada – Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, Global Affairs Canada

Initiative: Market Potential Finder

Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service recognized that its small firms were not taking advantage of new trade agreements. The service trained 800 trade commissioners on free trade agreement benefits, so they could match firms with new markets. Post-training surveys showed that 87% of the commissioners found that the training increased their knowledge of FTAs and that they used the results in working with clients.

This effort aligns with Canada’s goal to achieve 50% more exports overseas by 2025. It diversifies trade and supply chains.

Best initiative for inclusive and sustainable trade

Winner: Zimbabwe – Zimtrade

Initiative: Eagle’s Nest Youth Export Incubator

A reality TV contest for young entrepreneurs brought national awareness for exports in this unusual initiative. Zimtrade found a creative approach to reach youth – where 62% of the population are

younger than 25 years old. About 70 000 viewers followed the series, with continued access to the 13 episodes on social media.

A pitch contest brought 100 shortlisted firms for training. Then, 50 semi-finalists were trained in marketing and branding, quality control, financing and intellectual property management. Finally, 17 finalists received further training. The winner received full financial support for international exhibitions and learning visits; mentorship with international experts; a listing in Zimbabwe’s online export shop; and a financial package from Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe.

The next annual edition will focus on small businesses from rural and marginalized communities.

Runner-up: Sri Lanka – Sri Lanka Export Development Board

Initiative: Export Coaching Programme for SMEs

Few companies in Sri Lanka’s new export development programme were managing to break into export markets. They needed training and information.

The Sri Lanka Export Development Board trained 11 officers – ten of them women – as coaches. They guided companies and brought an independent panel to award the best 10 pitches from companies.  Following the training, 40% of companies identified export market entry requirements. The programme improved rural development, with four farmer clusters as a supply base. It brought opportunities to women and youth in rural areas.

Notes for the editor:

About the International Trade Centre - The International Trade Centre 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. It thereby contributes to sustainable economic development within the framework of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

About the Ghana Export Promotion Authority - The Ghana Export Promotion Authority is the national trade promotion organization of the Ministry of Industry and Trade. It facilitates, develops and promotes Made In Ghana products in the competitive global economy. It plays a leading role in developing a strong market position for non-traditional exports. A previous winner of the WTPO awards, GEPA was selected by trade promotion organizations from around the world to host this year’s edition of the World Trade Promotion Organizations conference and awards.

About the United Nations in Ghana The UN works in partnership with the Government and people of Ghana (development partners, private sector, academia and civil society) for sustainable economic and social development, peace and human rights and towards achieving Ghana’s development priorities and the Sustainable Development Goals. It is a proud supporter of the World Trade Promotion Conference and Awards in Accra. Its information centre is supporting the outreach and coverage of this event.

For more information contact:

Natalie Domeisen

Head, Publishing and Events

International Trade Centre

Email: domeisen [at] (domeisen[at]intracen[dot]org)

Tel: + 41 22 730 0626