Trade Promotion Organizations: Keeping Pace with Change
The 8th Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) Network World Conference and Awards concluded in Mexico City today with more than 150 participants from 50 countries addressing the theme, ‘Building Export Success – Enhancing TPO Impact in a Changing Global Environment’.
Two days of intensive discussion and debate brought together TPOs, governmental and private business support organizations, related government ministries, regional trade promotion organizations, and international and national development agencies interested in trade capacity development. They exchanged experiences, knowledge and best practices, participants focused on practical solutions to stimulate export-led economic growth.
‘TPOs are more relevant than ever before. They must reinvent themselves in a constantly changing environment. It is important that, in times of crisis, we take advantage of the opportunity to make changes – to do things that are difficult to do in times of prosperity,’ said Patricia R. Francis, the International Trade Centre’s Executive Director. “We must keep pace with the world around us.”
An important trend that emerged during the conference is TPOs’ tendency to focus on export ready SMEs to boost economic growth for their countries. ‘It may be easier to go for the low hanging fruit of targeting export ready or exporting SMEs, but do not forget our obligation to economic development and to working with companies that need your support,’ cautioned Ms. Francis.
Alfonso Cervantes Sánchez Navarro, Acting General Director, ProMéxico, noted that TPOs are concentrating less on markets and more on productive sectors. ‘We need to focus more closely on the needs of our customers to have a clear course for developing our markets,’ he said. ‘We also need to focus on supporting our customers in going for quality rather than quantity.’
TPOs contribute to creating jobs and income for their countries by offering targeted services to enterprises, which enable them to extend their reach globally and boost exports.
Participants voted for Malaysia to host the 9th TPO Network World Conference and Awards, to be held in Kuala Lumpur in 2012. Noharuddin Nordin, Chief Executive Officer, MATRADE, Malaysia, welcomed the opportunity. ‘We are happy to organize the next TPO Network World Conference and Awards. We will continue the work we have done here and we will ensure that the experience is as fruitful as it has been in Mexico City,’ he said.
Outstanding national efforts to boost export performance earned global awards at the 8th Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) Network Awards, presented during the conference on 14 October. The Awards recognize excellence in trade support services and celebrate TPOs that demonstrate outstanding performance in the use of innovative and efficient systems in their export development initiatives. The winners of the TPO Network Awards for 2010 are:
- Mauritius: Best Trade Promotion Organization from a small island developing state
- Brazil: Best Trade Promotion Organization from a developing country
- The United Kingdom: Best Trade Promotion Organization from a developed country
Hosted by ProMéxico, the national trade promotion body of Mexico, the TPO Network World Conference and Awards 2010 were sponsored by the International Trade Centre, the agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations.
For more about TPO Network World Conference and Awards, see www.tponetwork.net