ITC training course on SME trade promotion draws international participants

11 August 2014
ITC News
Issues, challenges and opportunities for SME trade development examined

Some 30 mid-level executives and senior officials from 15 countries have gained useful knowledge on the techniques of trade promotion to spur economic development following a five-day course organized by the International Trade Centre (ITC).

The event, which was held at the World Trade Institute in Bern, Switzerland, from 4-8 August focused on the advantages of linking enterprises to global value chains and markets, and the importance of building institutional support networks as part of the creation of a conducive national trade environment.

Trade practitioners from developing and developed countries came to Bern to share best practices and innovative solutions to assist small and medium-sized enterprises become globally competitive and to access value chains, said Anders Aeroe, Director of ITC’s Division of Market Development and one of the course instructors.

‘Developing competitive enterprises in a sustainable manner increases trade, employment and growth,’ he added. ‘Examining policies and programmes that impact entrepreneurship and the growth of enterprises facilitates strategic thinking and the better application of new approaches in trade facilitation and development.’

John Gillies, Senior Programme Manager, Trade Learning and Capacity Building, who was responsible for organizing and also delivering the course, added: ‘We wanted to create a rich interaction between senior trade-development professionals and the intellectual rigour afforded by affiliating with a leading trade research institution like the World Trade Institute (WTI). We have had requests already to run something similar on a regional basis, which shows that we have created something of value.’

The participants were familiarized with issues such as private standards, non-tariff measures, emerging market trade flows, new trade-facilitation measures, and trends in agribusiness and services. They were also introduced to ITC’s trade intelligence tools and the lessons to be learned from ITC’s 150+ technical-assistance projects currently underway in various developing countries and transition economies around the globe.