Exploring New Trade Partnerships for LDCs. (ITC News)

Article excerpt

New opportunities for least developed countries (LDCs) have little to do with the past, thanks, in part, to globalization and new information technologies. Few are aware of the promising grass-roots stories of LDC exporters. A new generation of innovative, energetic and persevering entrepreneurs is emerging. ITC, with its track record in LDC trade development, is open to new partnerships to help LDCs reach their export potential.

This, in essence, was the message of J. Denis Belisle, ITC's Executive Director, at the inaugural session of the Open Forum for Partnerships at the United Nations headquarters in February. He spoke on the subject "Making Globalization Work for Developing Countries: The Power of Trade in Development", at the invitation of Anwarul K. Chowdhury, UN High Representative of the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), who moderated the session. Ambassador Joel W. Adechi, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Benin to the United Nations, made opening remarks.

The presentation provided ITC with an opportunity to sensitize LDC member state representatives in New York and UN headquarters staff, as well as representatives of NGOs and foundations, on the work undertaken by ITC in LDCs.

ITC outlined how governments, business and international organizations are working together to improve the environment for many more LDC entrepreneurs to export. Mr. Belisle presented ITC's trade development contributions to the Brussels Programme of Action for LDCs and to the Doha Development Agenda. ITC's perspective is based on nearly four decades of experience in working with the business communities of developing countries. Some 40% of ITC's annual delivery is targeted to LDCs.

The Open Forum provides a platform for development organizations, particularly UN system entities outside New York, to share perspectives on development of LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS. It is organized by the UN Office of the High Representative of the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States. …