Global awards recognize excellence in trade promotion to ‘build back better’
(Geneva) - Trade promotion organizations from Costa Rica, Georgia and Sweden received this year's top prizes for launching innovative programmes in their countries that help micro, small and medium-sized enterprises to benefit from trade opportunities.
The 2020 World Trade Promotion Awards were presented at the International Trade Centre in Geneva, in the presence of ambassadors from the countries which were finalists for the awards. A global network of trade promotion organizations attended online, including all 18 national trade promotion organizations who were finalists for the awards. The winners were:
- Best use of a partnership - Winner: Business Sweden
Runners up: United Republic of Tanzania, Viet Nam
- Best use of information technology - Winner: Enterprise Georgia (LEPL)
Runners up: China, Malaysia
- Best initiative for inclusive and sustainable trade - Winner: Export Promotion Agency of Costa Rica (PROCOMER)
Runners up: Saint Lucia, Spain
'Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises have been the hardest hit by the economic and health-related impact of the pandemic,' said Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director of the International Trade Centre, during the awards ceremony. 'Trade promotion organizations have an even more critical role to play in supporting the recovery and resilience of these MSMEs as we 'build back better' - and boldly.'
Trade promotion organizations are critical, as they 'provide a lifeline to businesses who so desperately need it,' Ms. Coke-Hamilton added. 'These awards shine a spotlight on best practice and provide scalable solutions for TPOs all over to world to embrace.'
The competition, open to all national trade promotion organizations, recognizes excellence in trade support services. They celebrate organizations that excel in innovative, effective export development initiatives. The organizations must show that they help micro, small and medium-sized enterprises to become competitive in international markets.
The winners were selected from 60 applications, the highest number since the awards were created in 2004. The jury was composed of 2016 and 2018 award winners, chaired by the ITC Executive Director, Pamela Coke-Hamilton.
Other national finalists were: Austria, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Portugal, United Arab Emirates and Zimbabwe.
At a glance: The 2020 World Trade Promotion Winners
Best use of partnerships
Winner: Business Sweden, for facilitating high-potential opportunities
Business Sweden is bringing together large firms and SMEs to create highly competitive bids for infrastructure projects in energy, mining, transportation and information and communications technologies. Twenty projects are underway globally, valued at EUR 4.7 billion. More than half of participating companies are SMEs.
Runner-up: Tanzania Trade Development Authority (TanTrade), for its online Business Clinic
This one-stop shop has helped over 1,600 businesses, with partners such as the National Bank of Commerce and associations for cassava and for leather. Coaching is available for both start-ups and established firms. And by analyzing the common challenges in the Business Clinic, TanTrade advocates for trade policies rooted in real business needs.
Runner-up: Vietrade, for its national expert network
They have built a network of international and national trainers. They are advising firms with export planning tools, which led to over 100 new contracts for SMEs.
Best use of information technology
Winner: Enterprise Georgia, for its online training on export basics
Remote Georgian companies are now getting previously inaccessible quality training about export readiness and market diversification. Educational institutions are using it, and the Bank of Georgia is now adding the training to its own platform, extending the reach for free, to millions of bank customers.
Runner-up: China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, for its Trusted Traders online
This platform is based on visits to SMEs and a questionnaire to nearly 7,500 SMEs. It has already provided standardized credit assessment to 300 companies, and now has a database of 300,000 exporters and importers, in both Chinese and English.
Runner-up: Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation, for the MyExport online service
MyExport, an online service, provides Malaysian exporters access to a wealth of real-time trade information. The service has 15,000 subscribers, and generated nearly 4,200 leads in 2019.
Best initiative for inclusive and sustainable trade
Winner: PROCOMER, the Export Promotion Agency of Costa Rica, for its Green Growth Platform
Seed capital for innovations has helped 2,500 exporters to place 4,500 products in more than 155 destinations. The programme was designed with the Costa Rica-USA Foundation for Cooperation; the Inter-American Development Bank has joined the initiative.
Runner-up: ICEX Spain Trade and Investment, for its ICEX Impact+ programme
This programme has helped over 30 Spanish companies in five countries with socially inclusive, environmentally sustainable projects.
Runner-up: Export Saint Lucia, for its programme to develop seamoss exports
Exports jumped from $55,000 to nearly $558,000 between 2018 and 2019, thanks to this export development programme, which is working to obtain a Geographical Indication for Saint Lucian sun-dried seamoss. As Saint Lucia lost market access preference for the banana industry, this programme is helping them diversify their exports.
Notes to the Editor
About ITC - 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, thereby contributing to sustainable economic development within the frameworks of the Aid-for-Trade agenda and the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.
For more information, visit www.intracen.org.
International Trade Centre
Communications and Events
P: + 41 22 730 0370