Global Awards Recognize Excellence in Trade Support Services
Outstanding national efforts to boost export performance earned global awards at the 8th Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) Network World Conference and Awards, taking place in Mexico City, 14-15 October 2010. The biennial event brought together more than 150 participants from 50 countries to address the theme, ‘Building Export Success – Enhancing TPO Impact in a Changing Global Environment’.
The TPO Network Awards recognize excellence in trade support services and celebrate TPOs that demonstrate outstanding performance in the use of innovative and efficient processes and systems in their export development initiatives. The winners of the TPO Network Awards for 2010 are:
Mauritius: Best Trade Promotion Organization from a Small Island Developing State (Enterprise Mauritius)
Brazil: Best Trade Promotion Organization from a Developing Country (Brazilian Trade & Investment Promotion Agency - ApexBrasil)
The United Kingdom: Best Trade Promotion Organization from a Developed Country (UK Trade & Investment - UKTI)
- Armenia – from a developing country (Armenian Development Agency - ADA)
- Hungary – from a developed country (Hungarian Investment and Trade Promotion Agency - ITD Hungary)
- Malaysia – from a developing country (Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation - MATRADE)
- Australia – from a developed country (Australian Trade Commission – Austrade)
TPOs contribute to job creation and export income for their countries by offering targeted services to enterprises that enable them to extend their reach globally and boost exports. The global economicrecession has increased the pressure on TPOs to demonstrate the value for money they deliver by recording and reporting the impact of their services.
‘These Awards recognize those TPOs that understand where the opportunities are and think about innovative ways to motivate companies to go after export markets,’ said International Trade Centre (ITC) Executive Director Patricia Francis. ‘Success today also depends on understanding the nuances of supply chains and how you can fit into a global supply chain. Business is no longer focused solely on end-to-end production – it’s about being part of a whole. Globalization is creating more opportunities to do this.’
Added Ms. Francis: ‘These winners are tackling the growing challenges of today’s increasingly competitive marketplace and the effects of the global economic recession. They are delivering real value to their customers.’
As a Small Island Developing State, Mauritius took an integrated approach to its clients, addressing both their needs and the needs of the market. ‘The proximity of markets is a problem, so we have to leverage our every strength. We focused on SMEs to help them maximize their internal capacities,’ said Prakash Beeharry, CEO Enterprise Mauritius.‘As with most Small Island Developing States, we derive beauty and strength from our smallness. At the same time, it’s important to maintain an image of quality.’
For Brazil, success lies in listening to and learning from clients and delivering tailored services to support their needs. ‘The award means a lot. There is pressure for continuous achievement, which is also a responsibility,’ said Mauricio Borges, Director of ApexBrasil. ‘For us, success depends on a continuous learning process, based on listening, being part of the process and understanding what we have to improve in our service delivery.’
UK Trade & Investment Deputy Chief Executive Susan Haird said that her organization undertook case studies and focused on projects that they were proud of and were measurable. ‘We worked with selected companies from two to 10 years, giving them in-depth assistance, including looking at new export markets. We wanted to succeed and now it’s been proved. We certainly learned a lot about best practice from other [TPOs].’
Past award winners have used the recognition to focus attention on the value of TPO services, to assist national governments in achieving their economic goals and to showcase the value of developing and funding export promotion programmes.
The TPO Network Awards are sponsored by the International Trade Centre, the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, devoted to supporting small and medium-sized enterprises in developing countries to become more competitive in global markets. In this way, ITC strives to speed up sustainable economic development and contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
The awards were presented on 14 October at the 2010 TPO Network World Conference and Awards, and hosted by ProMéxico, the national trade promotion body of Mexico, in conjunction with ITC. Participants at the event came from TPOs, governmental and private business support organizations, related government ministries, regional trade promotion organizations, and international and national development agencies interested in trade capacity development. They explored how best to address urgent challenges during plenary sessions, panel debates and workshops. Exchanging experiences, knowledge and best practices, participants focused on practical solutions to stimulate export-led economic growth.
For more about the event, the winners and their accomplishments, see www.tponetwork.net