Responding to global trade challenges necessitates a rethink in approaches
Innovative ways of thinking are necessary in order to respond to the ever-changing global economy, according to Patricia R. Francis, Executive Director of the International Trade Centre (ITC).
In her speech during the opening session of the World Trade Organization (WTO)’s Eighth Ministerial Conference, Ms. Francis emphasized that ITC is reinventing itself to keep up with the changing environment in order to provide state of the art value to the poorest countries. Ms. Francis laid out three examples:
1. Providing access to trade data that allows users to better understand supply and demand trends, seek out new markets and opportunities to diversify.
2. Development of a platform which demystifies private voluntary standards labeling, then building of capacities of small and medium enterprises.
3. Working toward inclusiveness via a larger and more equal share of global procurement for small women-owned businesses and programmes such as Ethical Fashion.
Ms. Francis also said that the multilateral trading system has kept intact its power of attraction to the economies of the world, whether they are large and powerful or small and vulnerable. She noted that ITC had worked with two of the countries acceding to WTO membership, Samoa and Vanuatu, by facilitating consensus building through public-private dialogue.
She added that the Doha Development Round has provided significant contributions to the trade and development agenda, namely through inspiring several negotiation initiatives which have been adopted by WTO members since 2001, with the recent declaration of Busan recognizing Aid for Trade as a legitimate entry on the agenda of international aid policy.
To read Ms. Francis’ full speech to the WTO Eighth Ministerial Conference, click here.