Trade Forum Features

News brief - Issue 03 - 2013

30 September 2013
ITC News
New International Trade Centre Executive Director says 'trade enables overall development'

Arancha González began her term as Executive Director of the International Trade Centre (ITC) on 1 September 2013. A Spanish national, González joins ITC from the World Trade Organization (WTO), where she served as Chief of Staff to former Director-General Pascal Lamy and as his representative at the G-20 since 2005. González 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 said 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.'

González said ITC's close link to the private sector and its ability to work directly with actors in the field is one of its 'biggest assets' and will drive future growth. She said that ITC was 'uniquely placed' to contribute to the United Nations post-2015 development agenda and to help small and medium-sized enterprises become the agents of inclusive growth.

Arancha González succeeds Patricia Francis, who served as Executive Director from June 2006 to June 2013.

World Trade Organization's new Director-General takes office

The new Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) said that success at the Bali Ministerial Conference is vital and has to be WTO's first priority. Roberto Carvalho de Azevêdo, a Brazilian career diplomat, took up his post on 1 September 2013. He has been the Permanent Representative of Brazil to the WTO and other international economic organizations in Geneva since 2008. Besides WTO, Azevêdo has represented Brazil before organizations including the World Intellectual Property Organization, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and the International Telecommunication Union.

In his inaugural speech to the WTO General Council on 9 September 2013, Azevêdo said: 'My full priority will be to ensure that we have a successfully negotiated outcome in our Ninth Ministerial Conference... Time is short. Our work must start here and now. That's why I will be commencing intensive consultations with members immediately... This will be in a variety of formats and configurations at ambassador level. We will focus on the three key areas of trade facilitation, development and some elements of agriculture.'

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development Secretary-General warns of bumpy road ahead

Mukhisa Kituyi of Kenya began his four-year term as Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on 1 September 2013. Speaking during his first trip as Secretary-General, Kituyi warned that the road to global investment recovery remains bumpy, with investors reluctant to expand their businesses in the face of widespread economic fragility and policy uncertainty. In his keynote speech to the International Investment Forum of the 17th China International Fair for Investment and Trade in Xiamen, China, Kituyi said skittishness about the investment environment means that US$ 6 trillion remains idle on corporate balance sheets.

'This is capital, I am sure you will agree with me, that we would rather see invested in productive capacity to spur economic activity that can help propel us out of economic sluggishness and thereby get more people back into jobs,' Kituyi said. He told the conference that countries should strive to provide policy certainty to get investment flowing again, saying that 'there is a need to boost investor confidence.'

Mukhisa Kituyi has a distinguished academic and parliamentary background, coupled with wide-ranging experience in trade negotiations.

Next Executive Director of the Enhanced Integrated Framework appointed

Ratnakar Adhikari of Nepal has been appointed as the next Executive Director of the Executive Secretariat for the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF). Adhikari will replace Dorothy Tembo, whose tenure ends on 31 October 2013.

The EIF, an Aid-for-Trade programme for least developed countries (LDCs), is a global partnership between LDCs, donors and international organizations that supports EIF countries to be more active players in the global trading system by helping them tackle supply-side constraints to trade. The EIF works towards a wider goal of promoting economic growth and sustainable development and helping to lift more people out of poverty.

Ratnakar Adhikari has extensive country experience in trade and development as well as in management. His latest position was Chief Executive Director of South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics and Environment (SAWTEE) in Nepal.