ITC issues Annual Report on work in 2014

2 June 2015
ITC News

In 2014, the International Trade Centre helped thousands of companies become export-ready and connect to potential buyers abroad. ITC market intelligence contributed to an estimated US$126 million in trade. Hundreds of trade and investment support institutions in developing countries reported that ITC enabled them to get better at helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) succeed in international markets. Decision makers reported that ITC analysis and support helped them formulate smarter trade and development policies.

These are some of the highlights from ITC's work last year covered in its new Annual Report, released this week ahead of the 26 June annual session of the Joint Advisory Group. The report will serve as the basis for discussions at the JAG session, where government delegates review ITC activities and make recommendations to the United Nations and the World Trade Organization on ITC's future work programme.

Last year, ITC's 'extra-budgetary' expenditures – funded by voluntary project-related contributions that are distinct from the annual contributions from the WTO and the UN – grew by 35% over the 2013 level to reach an all-time high of US$53 million. Coupled with efficiency gains in procurement, travel, and legal services, ITC delivered more technical assistance, capacity building, and market intelligence than ever before.

The report opens by setting out the economic and strategic context within which ITC was operating in 2014, before going on to describe key achievements from across the six main focus areas of ITC's work: trade and market intelligence for SME competitiveness; supporting regional economic integration and South-South links; connecting to value chains; strengthening trade and investment support institutions; promoting and mainstreaming inclusive and green trade; and building a conducive business environment.

For each of these focus areas, the report includes two case studies providing in-depth, qualitative illustrations of the impact projects have had on the ground around the world. Readers will learn about how Côte d'Ivoire cut a cocoa trader's certification times from six months to two weeks after an ITC survey on non-tariff measures prompted the government to introduce an online mechanism for reporting trade obstacles. They will see how ITC partnered with Bosch, the German electronics and engineering firm, to help Kenyan SMEs nearly double productivity. And they will learn about ITC's work to support developing countries in understanding and notifying their future commitments under the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement.

A section on corporate results covers finances and staffing, together with information on ITC governance, including the organisation's response to a comprehensive independent external evaluation of its effectiveness. The section provides details on high-level events organised by ITC in 2014, such as the World Export Development Forum held in Rwanda, the Trade Promotion Organisation Network World Conference & Awards in Dubai as well as information about ITC's partnerships with other international agencies, national institutions, and the private sector.

In her foreword to the report, ITC Executive Director Arancha González wrote that in 2014, ITC cemented its role as a "one-stop shop for trade-related technical assistance for the private sector in developing countries."

"This report is about how, in 2014, we delivered trade impact for good and positioned ourselves to keep doing so in the future."

Click here to download the annual report.