ITC Executive Director discusses new business opportunities in the global economy at the IESE Business School in Barcelona, Spain
The financial crisis has dramatically changed the business environment for firms, entrepreneurs and senior executives. ITC Executive Director, Ms Patricia Francis, today took part in a panel discussion at the IESE Business School, Barcelona, Spain, which involved participants sharing their views about what the new business opportunities in the global economy are today and what opportunities and challenges they anticipate there being over the next ten years.
Ms Francis outlined how over the past three years the world trading system has been affected by two major events, namely the global financial crisis of 2008 along with the sovereign debt crisis of 2009; and the stalling of the Doha Development Agenda. She suggested that these events have been high profile in nature but have masked some important shifts in trends within the global trading system, and that these trends too influence the ITC programme agenda.
The Executive Director identified these trends as being; the emergence of the BRICS as growth markets; the persistent vulnerability of LDCs, LLDCs, SIDS and SSA countries; the growth in preferential trade agreements; an increase in trade of intermediate goods; and the existence of non tariff measures to market access. As well as this, Ms Francis spoke about the challenge of ensuring that increased trade translates into growth and poverty alleviation.
It was described how ITC focuses on the poorest and most vulnerable countries, whilst also working with BRICS to develop south-south trade. Additionally, the organisation works to improve transparency of trade by providing market access tools that explain tariff and non-tariff measures to trade. Furthermore, ITC works with both the private and public sectors to analyse and raise awareness of countries’ trade and export potential, whilst also emphasizing the importance of regional trade, particularly in the African continent.