Special ITC publication to celebrate 50th anniversary
A special publication, 50 Years of Unlocking SME Competitiveness: Lessons for the Future, will be launched by the International Trade Centre (ITC) on 10 June 2014 to commemorate the organisation’s 50th anniversary. The publication explores new opportunities to connect small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries to global markets, provides recommendations for trade-related technical assistance, and presents a road map for ITC’s future work.
Featuring contributions from academics and the business community, the publication traces the growth of trade over the past five decades and ITC’s role in trade development. It provides a glimpse into trade trends for the next 20 years, with five essays featuring international business perspectives. These serve as a springboard to highlight emerging trends in Aid for Trade. The book also outlines the way forward for ITC, which has evolved from being a small trade information provider 50 years ago, to becoming a provider of integrated trade development solutions to boost trade competitiveness for SMEs.
‘This publication is a testimony to the ITC of the past and to that of the future,’ said ITC Executive Director Arancha González. ‘The ITC mandate has evolved with the changing topography and geography of trade, the maturing priorities of its partners and clients, and the shift in the way businesses produce, trade and interact.’
She added that ITC offers a suite of support services specifically focused on helping SMEs to increase their competitiveness, achieve their economic potential and internationalize. Ms González said the publication charts further growth in depth, breadth and impact of ITC’s work around the globe.
The publication examines the significant changes which have taken place in global trade such as the domination of manufactured goods and the shift towards higher value processed agricultural products, and the growth of trade in services. Three major drivers of global trade can be attributed to technological innovations which have enhanced communication, transportation and commerce; policy reforms focused on economic growth strategies; and competitiveness through economic incentives to boost productivity and growth, and compliance with international trade rules. The importance of infrastructure, particularly in information and communication technologies (ICTs) and logistics, and an efficient and transparent business environment, have a strong influence on trade prospects. Three areas which have been identified as being particularly important are in addressing supply chain constraints, targeting high growth markets, and improving export survival rates.