Press releases

Global conference in Paris to deepen trade and investment partnerships

23 March 2018
ITC News
Trade and investment promotion organizations around the world will meet in Paris on 25-26 October.

(Geneva/Paris) Trade and investment promotion organizations around the world will meet in Paris on 25-26 October to discuss how they can best connect small firms to big opportunities.

The World Trade Promotion Conference (WTPO) will be jointly hosted by Business France and the International Trade Centre (ITC), a development agency of the United Nations and the World Trade Organization.

Trade and Investment Ecosystems: Delivering for Growth is the conference theme, and will bring together hundreds of trade and investment leaders to explore new opportunities in a fast-changing environment.

The two agencies today signed their agreement cementing their partnership and setting out their vision for the conference.

‘Business France will make sure that the conference offers numerous networking opportunities for these organizations to develop partnerships for impact,’ said Christophe Lecourtier, CEO of Business France.

‘Trade matters if we are to have inclusive growth and job creation,’ said Arancha González, ITC Executive Director. ‘This conference will be a space for dialogue and action on how trade investment promotion agencies can be engines of innovation and support for businesses around the world.’

ITC research has shown these organizations contribute directly to national gains in productivity and competitiveness, which go beyond the firms they assist. A recent study of European trade promotion organizations showed that for each dollar invested in these agencies, they generated an additional $87 in exports and an additional $384 for a country’s gross domestic product. The study also looked at data for 77 countries, and found that where national trade promotion agencies provide support, exports increase 7-8% on average.

France stood out in the study as a high performer: export returns are nearly 19% higher, thanks to trade promotion interventions. Peers in similar organizations around the world recognized this implicitly, awarding France as the ‘best trade and investment promotion agency’ at the 2016 WTPO Conference.

International awards

International awards to help small firms trade across borders are an important part of the event. The awards encourage excellence among national trade and investment institutions through innovative partnerships; excellent use of technology; and inclusive trade.

Candidates from national institutions are eligible to apply at wtpo-awards [at] (wtpo-awards[at]intracen[dot]org) by 10 May. ITC will shortlist relevant candidates, who then provide a detailed application by 2 July. The finalists will be featured in a social media campaign leading up to the conference, and the winners will be announced at the conference gala dinner.

Sharing good practices

Business France and ITC are also working together with 20 African trade promotion organizations to improve their service offerings to African SMEs, as part of a two-year programme supported by the Agence Française de Développement.

These leaders will be meeting in the sidelines of the WTPO conference to share their challenges and good management practices to link small firms to global markets.

Notes for the Editor:

The 12th WTPO Conference and Awards will take place at the Pierre Mendès France Conference Centre in Paris, France on 25-26 October. Business France, in partnership with ITC, hosts the event. Created in 1996, the conference takes place every two years. Conference hosts are selected by their peers.

The International Trade Centre is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. ITC assists micro, small and medium-sized enterprises to become more competitive in global markets, thus contributing to sustainable economic development as part of the Sustainable Development Goals.

For more information, visit Follow ITC on Twitter | Facebook |LinkedIn |Instagram

Business France supports the international development of the French economy. It promotes France’s companies, business image and nationwide attractiveness as an investment location. Founded in 2015 through a merger between UBIFRANCE and the Invest in France Agency, Business France is present across France and in 70 countries around the world.

ITC Media Contact:
Natalie Domeisen
Tel: +41-22-730-0370
Email: domeisen [at] (domeisen[at]intracen[dot]org)

Business France Media Contact:
Cynthia Odsi
Media Officer
Tel: +33 1 40 73 74 15
Email: cynthia.odsi [at] (cynthia[dot]odsi[at]businessfrance[dot]fr)