Press releases

Registration opens for ITC’s 15th World Export Development Forum: talk business and do business

13 July 2015
ITC News

(Geneva/Doha) – Achieving sustainable growth through innovation, investment and internationalization will be at the heart of the International Trade Centre’s (ITC) 15th World Export Development Forum (WEDF) to be held in Doha, Qatar, on 20-21 October 2015.

Inclusive, sustainable growth will be central to the United Nations’ post-2015 development agenda. This year’s edition of ITC’s flagship event will explore the role that policymakers and business can play to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. A particular focus will be on enabling small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries to increase their competitiveness and grow through trade.

Representatives of governments, the private sector and trade and investment support institutions from around the world can now register here for the event, which will be hosted by the Ministry of Finance of the State of Qatar, through the Qatar Development Bank.

This global platform is designed to address issues of trade competitiveness and to help leaders in trade and development forge new partnerships and develop innovative solutions. Participants will explore the theme of ‘Sustainable trade: Innovate, invest, internationalize’ through high-level plenaries, workshops and business-to-business (B2B) meetings. This year’s B2B meetings will target entrepreneurs working in the tourism, specialty foods and plastics sectors.

‘This year’s WEDF is an opportunity for global thought leaders and practitioners from the world of policy, academia and business to strategize on how the role of trade can be strengthened to spur social and economic growth in developing countries,’ said ITC Executive Director Arancha González. ‘Not only will it be a platform to share best practices and know-how, it will be a venue for doing business, as carefully tailored B2B meetings will allow SMEs to tap new trade opportunities.’

Abdulaziz Bin Nasser Al Khalifa, CEO of Qatar Development Bank, said: ‘We are proud to host this year’s WEDF. The event will showcase best practices for SMEs, and how to improve this sector, especially with the efforts conducted to accelerate the diversification of Qatar's economy, one of the fastest growing economies in the world. The Qatari economy development means finding a balance between the economy based on oil, and knowledge-based industries and services of non-hydro-carbon economy that we began to witness its results already.’

‘Our participation in hosting this event shows the involvement of Qatar in terms of export development at regional and international levels, especially with the Government's vision to support the private sector’s role. We are delighted to host such a global event,’ he added.

Sessions at WEDF 2015 will explore boosting the competitiveness of SMEs to drive economic growth, how to reshape the entrepreneurial landscape through new technologies, and innovative ways for SMEs to access finance. They will also look at regional economic integration, foreign direct investment as a key to connecting to value chains, growth potential in the tourism sector, and the role of halal standards in opening up new markets.

Notes to the editor

About Qatar Development Bank - QDB’s mission is to drive private-sector participation and growth through innovative tools for SMEs.

About the International Trade Centre - 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 economies to become more competitive in global markets, thereby contributing to sustainable economic development within the frameworks of the Aid-for-Trade agenda and the Millennium Development Goals.