Happy Birthday, International Trade Forum! in 2004, Forum Magazine Celebrates 40 Years of Trade Development News and Views

Article excerpt

The International Trade Forum is the only global magazine dealing with trade from a business and developing country perspective. First published in 1964 and circulated to 10,000 readers, each issue now is distributed quarterly to 28,000 readers around the world. The online version attracts another 40,000 to 60,000 readers each month.

Over its 40-year history, Forum magazine has helped readers understand and benefit from the evolving trade environment. Its focus on trade development through practical information and analysis of trade development trends gives Forum a unique flavour. Articles over the years have been diverse--from market opportunities for agricultural machinery, pet accessories, organic foods and back office operations to topics such as business advocacy for trade negotiations, the role of trade promotion organizations and many others.

Practical help

Forum magazine is part of ITC's technical cooperation programme to help the developing world improve its trade competitiveness in a changing global marketplace. Trade promotion organizations, industry associations, government ministries, development cooperation agencies, universities, journalists, businesses and nongovernmental organizations are regular readers. Over 75% of our print subscribers are from developing and transition economies. From its very first edition, the magazine has been issued in English, French and Spanish.

1964 Not just a debating ground

The first issue of Forum promised that "its particular endeavour will be to provide practical help to developing countries in their efforts to expand their export trade.

"The Forum [is not] designed to be just a debating ground for questions of international economic policy. Primarily--as its name implies--it hopes to be a meeting place for people interested in promoting trade, in particular the export trade of the developing countries, and a medium for the exchange of ideas and information between buyers and sellers."

Forty years on, we are still meeting this challenge.

Just before the first edition of the magazine went to press, a cable from London "stopped press": the British Board of Trade was offering training courses in export promotion for officials from developing countries. From the beginning, helping trade officials and business people gain knowledge and skills was a priority for ITC, and Forum has reflected this in many training articles since then.

1974 Practical tips ... and views

Listening to voices from the field is what keeps ITC relevant. Forum reports on views from around the world to help developing and transition economies share experiences, concerns and lessons. Trends in national export promotion activities continue to be a regular Forum feature.

Practical information to help small firms increase exports--such as tips on finding the best distributors--is what Forum has a reputation for.

1984 Tailored market opportunities

When selling "lifestyle" goods to sophisticated markets, staying in touch with consumer preferences and changing fashions is a must. …