Story: Portuguese-speaking firms gain access to a wealth of trade intelligence

12 June 2021
ITC News

The Global Trade Helpdesk, a free online platform with trade intelligence for small businesses, is now available in Portuguese.

The global trade recovery is accelerating with trade expected to grow 8% in 2021, according to forecasts by the World Trade Organization (WTO). Yet the recovery is expected to be uneven across regions. Businesses will need to continue to hedge their market risks through strategic diversification, and stay informed about emerging opportunities. 

Through a partnership with Apex-Brasil (Brazil’s trade and investment promotion agency), firms in Portuguese-speaking countries will now be better equipped to adapt their market strategies and take advantage of emerging opportunities.

The Global Trade Helpdesk enables entrepreneurs to identify and compare export opportunities by consolidating key trade information from 11 partner agencies into one business-friendly platform. In a single search, firms can access information about imports, market dynamics, tariffs, regulatory requirements, trade finance providers, potential buyers and more.

ITC Executive Director, Pamela Coke-Hamilton, said that reducing the cost and burden of accessing information is crucial for empowering smaller firms as they engage in new markets.

‘At the International Trade Centre, we are committed to strengthening the foundation of the global economy by empowering micro, small and medium-sized enterprises to be agents of inclusive growth,’ she said.

‘We are keen to work with Apex-Brasil to ensure that small businesses in Brazil and other Portuguese-speaking communities can also benefit from this digital platform as we place trade at the centre of the global recovery.’

Apex-Brasil Chief Executive Officer Augusto Pestana said: ‘Our purpose with this initiative is to facilitate the access of the Brazilian business community to international trade through a robust market intelligence platform. And, as we know, having updated and reliable information about the markets is the key to success in international trade.’

Brazil's small businesses are the core of the country’s exports in terms of numbers, but their share in export value has potential to grow. To get more small businesses to export, Apex-Brasil has been expanding its service portfolio, benefitting more than 7,500 companies in 2019. Apex-Brasil plans to use the new version of the platform to engage more with their clients, including through dedicated webinars and trainings. 

Growing support for the Global Trade Helpdesk

The interest of firms and business support organizations in the online platform continues to grow rapidly, reaching over 57,000 users from across 197 economies since its rollout in June 2020.

The Global Trade Helpdesk was endorsed by the 91 members of the WTO Informal Working Group on Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises as a key source of trade and market intelligence for smaller firms in its  recommendations of December 2020.

With Portuguese, the Global Trade Helpdesk is now available in six languages, including Arabic, English, French, Spanish and Russian.

The Global Trade Helpdesk is an initiative of the International Trade Centre, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and the World Trade Organization with the participation of the African Development Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the International Chamber of Commerce, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, the World Customs Organization, the World Bank Group and the World Intellectual Property Organization.