Centre News

Article excerpt

Centre news

Technical meeting

A technical meeting was organized by ITC in Geneva from 22 to 24 January to review an evaluation report prepared by an independent consultant on ITC's export packaging and export quality control activities and also to discuss ITC's draft medium-term plan for the 1992-97 period. A total of 77 participants from 48 countries attended, along with officials of GATT and UNCTAD. Seven packaging and quality control specialists from developing countries were also invited to participate in their personal capacity.

The meeting was financed by contributions from the Governments of Canada, Netherlands and Sweden.

The evaluation report and the report of the session containing participants' recommendations will be presented to ITC's Joint Advisory Group (JAG) in Geneva in April.

Commodities

ITC market promotion activities for selected jute products (mainly secondary carpet backing, jute geotextiles and yarn) continued during the quarter in Western Europe through participation in selected specialized trade fairs, advertising and the jute label programme. The project is financed by the Governments of Belgium and Switzerland through the International Jute Organization (IJO).

Promotional activities for a new 30-kg jute rice bag in Japan also continued through an ITC project financed by the Government of Japan, the Japanese jute trade and industry associations, and the IJO. Emphasis this year is on establishing the new bag in the market and on promoting the traditional 60-kg jute rice bag.

Preparatory activities for the promotion of sisal agricultural harvest twine in selected West European countries recently started, under a project financed by the Government of Sweden. Additional funds for the project have been pledged by the Brazilian sisal industry and the French trade.

ITC's in-service training activities with major coffee traders and roasters in Western Europe are continuing, under financing from the Governments of Switzerland and Sweden. In addition, an in-service training programme in cup-tasting, grading and trading of coffee with selected large coffee exporters in Kenya was held in Nairobi and Mombasa for ten participants from six small coffee-exporting countries (Philippines, Thailand, Haiti, Malawi, Liberia and the United Republic of Tanzania), financed by the Government of Switzerland. A similar training event took place in April and May in Abidjan for personnel from the coffee trade and industry of selected French-speaking African countries and Madagascar. This second activity was also financed by the Swiss Government and was carried out in close cooperation with the Stabilization Fund and the Inter-African Coffee Organization (IACO) in Abidjan. Sectoral surveys of the coffee industry have recently been carried out in Sierra Leone, Benin and the Central African Republic under the Swedish-financed project, and another such survey is underway in Haiti.

Seminars to disseminate the contents of ITC's Cocoa Trader's Guide continued during the quarter with training and consultations in with Sao Tome and Equatorial Guinea.

A trader's guide on oilseeds and vegetable oils will be published by ITC in the near future. Dissemination seminars and consultations will begin in May in selected Asian countries, under financing by the Government of Sweden.

Trade data analysis

An analysis of companies participating in Cameroon's foreign trade was recently published based on ITC's methodology of trade data analysis at the enterprise level, developed under a project financed by the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany. Under the same project, a study was also recently prepared on Spain's export and import channels, which focuses on Spanish trade with developing countries. ITC's adviser on the subject carried out a mission to Zimbabwe during the quarter in connection with the implementation of the methodology in the country. …