Press releases

Women exporters to receive boost at global vendors forum

2 May 2013
ITC News
Women Vendors Exhibition and Forum to unlock women’s trade potential

Women exporters in developing countries will yet again have the opportunity to partner with buyers from all over the world at this year’s Women Vendors Exhibition and Forum (WVEF), which will be held in New Delhi, India.

The third annual WVEF, which supports ITC’s broader effort of spurring job and income growth for women, is part of the Global Platform for Action on Sourcing from Women Vendors (PFA)’s 10-year strategy to promote corporate, government and institutional sourcing from women vendors. The goal is to build the capacity of women suppliers so they can meet buyers’ requirements, benefitting not only the women, their families and communities, but buyers as well, through competitive pricing, an expanded range of offerings and an enhanced supply chain.

The inclusion of more women-owned businesses into established supply chains is a step towards reaching significant international economic growth. The combined annual purchasing power of members of the PFA is in excess of US$ 700 billion. Tapping into just a small portion of that market can open new doors to business expansion and job growth.

‘Once you understand the capabilities of a diverse workforce, the value that they bring, the ideas, innovation, it’s an easy transition to supplier diversity and that simply means giving opportunities to those who qualify,’ said Michael K. Robinson, director for IBM’s Global Supplier Diversity program. ‘You don’t exclude anyone because there may be an idea or an innovation that could transform the marketplace.’

The first two WVEF conferences in Chongqing, China, and Mexico City, Mexico, resulted in more than US$ 20 million worth of business contracts. More than 500 women entrepreneurs, buyers, government representatives and trade support institutions from 48 countries attended the two conferences. Attendees represented a variety of sectors, such as coffee, apparel, information technology, shipping and office products.

‘Money in the hands of women, that is security, that is accountability, that is a whole family protectant,’ said Aicha Pouye, director of ITC’s Division of Business and Institutional Support. ‘That’s the right thing to do, not nice thing to do. That is the thing that should really bring sustainable development.’

The event is led by ITC with the support of WEConnect International.

For more information about the impact of WVEF 2013, click here.

To watch PFA members share their experiences from WVEF 2012 in Mexico City, watch this video.