Trade development strategies
Trade development strategies are designed to reduce trade barriers, identify growth opportunities, and chart blueprints for action.
Tailored strategies to improve trade
Strategies are country-led frameworks and courses of action designed to improve trade performance, increase foreign exchange earnings, stimulate job creation, raise small business competitiveness and attract investment through targeted actions at the policy, institutional and enterprise levels.
Strategies can be tailored to high-level economic goals or specific development targets such as greener trade, jobs for youth, rural development and export diversification. When a country partners with ITC, key stakeholders from the public and private sectors jointly lead the strategy design and implementation, with the expert technical support of ITC.
More than 60 countries have worked with ITC on 100+ trade strategies. To see which strategies already exist in a country, check out our ITC Trade Strategy Map.
What will a trade development strategy accomplish?
A trade development strategy in action promotes export growth and business competitiveness and supports socioeconomic development in a country.
ITC strategies are unique
An ITC-facilitated strategy builds on the best of existing plans and policies while highlighting new, concrete actions to get results. It is designed by the country, for the country. It lays out targeted, measurable steps to strengthen all aspects of trade in a country, from production to promotion.
The focus is on areas that provide the best prospects for export development and small business competitiveness in line with international market conditions. The strategy then defines what needs to be done, by whom, by what date, with what resources, to achieve which goals.
After a strategy is designed, a partner country can work with ITC on managing its successful implementation, receiving tailored capacity building, technical and advisory support services, and specialized tools.
See ITC’s range of trade development strategy solutions below.
A comprehensive, country-wide blueprint to strengthen multiple priority sectors and trade support functions by boosting the quantity and quality of exports, diversifying goods and services, providing institutional support and improving the overall business environment. A tourism-focused National Export Strategy can be tailored to cover multiple related sectors, such as agriculture, creative services and information technology, as well as trade support functions.
A country-wide blueprint coordinating all trade and investment activities, designed to show investors the government’s readiness to improve the business environment, and enable a country to influence the type of foreign direct investment it attracts and accelerate private sector-led growth.
A lighter, shorter version of a trade development strategy that can focus on a sector, trade function or theme, such as women, youth, green, digital or investment.
An actionable blueprint to strengthen sectors with high growth potential by assessing needs, identifying opportunities and formulating clear actions to develop products and markets, support value addition to develop value chains, attract investment, strengthen institutions and improve regulations in any sector related to agriculture, manufacturing or services. Some examples are:
- Cereals and grains, nuts, herbs, spices
- Cocoa, coffee, tea, medicinal plants
- Fruits and vegetables
- Live animals and meat
- Milk and dairy products
- Rubber and forestry products
- Fibres, textiles, clothing, apparel
- Leather and leather products
- Light manufacturing, engineering goods, automotive components
- Pharmaceutical, medical devices
- ICT and outsourcing
- Digital trade and e-commerce
- Creative industries
- Financial, educational and professional services
An actionable blueprint to improve the overall business environment by improving and upgrading areas such as:
- Transportation, logistics and trade facilitation
- Quality management
- Technical and vocational education and training (TVET) and skills development
- Trade finance
- Trade information
- Trade promotion and branding
- Institutional coordination and alignment
A broader blueprint to strengthen regional value chains, align policies and spur collaboration between neighbouring countries around a common sector or trade support function, normally within a regional bloc or institution
A targeted blueprint to build a conducive business environment for small businesses to become more competitive and innovative, create high-value jobs and move towards internationalization
A comprehensive package that supports a country to have the structures, systems and skills needed to collaborate and coordinate activities, translate the action plans into concrete projects, track progress and raise resources for implementation
What are the results of a strategy in action?
- Cameroon has invested $48 million in implementing its coffee sector strategy since 2012, with 250 young people trained every year, securing incomes for thousands of households
- Burkina Faso is investing $4 million from its national budget and three development partners in the implementation of its shea butter sector strategy, supporting the development of 100 organizations along the value chain
- Saint Lucia designed and implemented its first National Export Strategy from 2005-2009, and following its success, is now implementing an updated strategy for 2020-2024
- Romania’s National Export Council continues to meet monthly, more than 15 years after the council’s establishment, a direct result of implementing its first National Export Strategy
- Côte d’Ivoire’s National Export Council continues to meet monthly since its establishment in 2014, a direct result of implementing its National Export Strategy
- Kyrgyzstan is implementing its nation-wide development programme under the umbrella of the National Export Strategy
- Mongolia is using its five-year trade and investment roadmap as a ‘comprehensive blueprint’ to boost economic growth
- Regional cotton-to-clothing policies and actions are harmonized through strategies developed for the West Africa Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA), the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)