Taking off with Trade

Article excerpt

September marks the midway point in a worldwide effort to "Make Poverty History"--the aim of the Millennium Development Goals, the UN-led initiative to reduce poverty by 2015.

We need to step up the pace to meet these goals. Building the capacity to trade in competitive international markets can make a difference. As ITC's Executive Director notes in the feature article for this issue: "Developing countries understand that to help their businesses grow, they must more beyond connecting producers with buyers, beyond supplying coffee beans to the agro industry of handicrafts to tourists. They need to add value to their exports, look for new market opportunities and define the marketing and branding strategies that will help them create new, sustainable jobs."

ITC has been listening to its networks over the past year to understand the challenges, and find innovative solutions, to create sustainable jobs through trade. This magazine issue captures a range of these views, successes and concerns. We have drawn from ITC's most important events: the Joint Advisory Group meeting, the World Conference of Trade Promotion Organizations and the World Export Development Forum. We've listened to heads of business (large and small), leaders of national trade promotion bodies, chambers of commerce, heads of international organizations, non-governmental organizations dealing with trade, women's groups and more.

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Our networks speak of the potential of South-South trade; the critical role of women entrepreneurs; new initiatives to link poor communities to export markets; how to bring business voices to top policy circles; and the need for pragmatic, yet strategic partnerships. …