New ITC executive director looks to ‘scale up’ operations
The International Trade Centre is ‘uniquely placed’ to contribute to the United Nations post-2015 development agenda and help small and medium-sized enterprises become the agents of inclusive growth, according to Arancha González, the newly appointed Executive Director of the International Trade Centre, who took office earlier today.
The ‘agenda is placing a huge onus on small and medium enterprises as engines for poverty reduction’, Ms. González said. In response, ITC will have to ‘scale up its operations’ and develop the best tools to plan, implement and monitor results.
Ms. González joins ITC from the World Trade Organization (WTO), where she served as Chief of Staff to Director-General Pascal Lamy and as his representative at the G-20 since 2005.
Ms. González, who was appointed to the post by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 15 August, brings 17 years of experience in international trade and development issues and knowledge of both the public and private sectors to ITC, with the goal of leading it into the next phase of growth. She says the ‘immense value’ of ITC is that it works directly with people in the field, making a real difference in people’s lives.
‘We have to think of trade as an instrument that enables overall development,’ she said. ‘Trade is an integral component of economic policy which serves to drive growth, reduce poverty and generate jobs – and this is essentially what the Millennium Development Goals and Aid for Trade are about.’
A key to ITC’s success, Ms. González said, is its ongoing cooperation with its parent organizations, which also have new leaders as of today. Roberto Carvalho de Azevêdo of Brazil is the new Director-General of the WTO. Mukhisa Kituyi of Kenya is the new Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
‘The three organizations need to work very closely together,’ Ms. González said. ‘They are addressing different sides of the same reality.’
‘I welcome Ms. González to the ITC and look forward to working closely with her,’ Mr. Azevêdo said. ‘The ITC plays a vital role in helping the private sector in developing countries make use of the opportunities provided by the multilateral trading system.’
Ms. González succeeds Patricia Francis, who served as Executive Director from June 2006 to June 2013. Ms. González paid tribute to Ms. Francis and Jean-Marie Paugam, who served as Deputy Executive Director since March 2011 and as Acting Executive Director between June and August of this year and left ITC at the end of August. ‘I am looking forward to building on the achievements of Ms. Francis and Mr. Paugam,’ Ms. González said.
ITC is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. ITC assists small- and medium-sized enterprises in developing and transition economy countries to become more competitive in global markets, contributing to sustainable economic development within the frameworks of the Aid for Trade agenda and the Millennium Development Goals.
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