Magazine article International Trade Forum

Dialogue with Stakeholders: Since 2002, ITC Has Achieved 20% Year-on-Year Growth in Delivery, and It Plans to Keep Up the Momentum in 2004. Innovation in Content and Delivery, Focus on Synergies and Greater Involvement of National Partners Are Helping Make Growth Sustainable

Magazine article International Trade Forum

Dialogue with Stakeholders: Since 2002, ITC Has Achieved 20% Year-on-Year Growth in Delivery, and It Plans to Keep Up the Momentum in 2004. Innovation in Content and Delivery, Focus on Synergies and Greater Involvement of National Partners Are Helping Make Growth Sustainable

Article excerpt

IITC kept three objectives in sharp focus throughout 2003. They were:

* to remain a provider of specialized trade-related technical assistance and grow within its niche by intensifying, rather than diversifying, activities;

* to combine its expertise increasingly with that of others in technical assistance "consortiums" and continue to innovate in its technical assistance approaches; and

* to work towards achieving greater impact and increasing efficiency through continued streamlining of administrative processes.

Sustaining delivery

Technical assistance delivery rose by 70% over the past three years. To help ensure that this growth is sustainable, ITC uses a number of approaches. It has joint programmes, it works with national partners and it offers "modular" programmes from which beneficiaries can mix and match elements to their needs.

Sustainable platforms for delivery include:

* the second phase of the Joint ITC/ UNCTAD/WTO integrated Technical Assistance Programme in Selected Least Developed and Other African Countries (JITAP);

* the Business for Development initiative following the WTO Ministerial Conference in Cancfin;

* increasing participation in the Integrated Framework;

* the ITC/Trade Facilitation Office Canada Programme for Building African Capacity for Trade;

* the new modular programme to promote trade in services; and

* expanding activities in national and sectoral export strategy design.

More and stronger partnerships

ITC participated more in technical assistance consortiums and searched for partnerships proactively.

Organizations with which ITC collaborates include UNCTAD and WTO, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, UN Development Programme, Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (seco), United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the State Department, the Netherlands' Centre for Import Promotion (CBI), GTZ (the German technical cooperation agency), Commonwealth Secretariat, Agence intergouvernementale de la francophonie (Intergovernmental agency for French-speaking countries), UN Industrial Development Organization and World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

On the horizon is a major breakthrough with the European Commission for collaboration in Asia.

Innovative content and delivery

ITC has continued to innovate in what it delivers and how it delivers, for example with new approaches to global programmes in export-led poverty reduction, e-commerce and South-South trade. Under the World Tr@de Net Programme and the Executive Forum, ITC stepped up efforts to promote business advocacy and create effective public-private partnerships to better formulate export strategy and trade negotiating positions.

Web-based tools for strategic market analysis continued to set standards around the world and are now used in more than 130 countries. At the same time, ITC improved efficiency in project planning and monitoring with the full installation of the computer-based Integrated Management Information System. The ITC Project Portal, a first in the UN system for daily monitoring of delivery and project implementation, is attracting substantial attention among other UN agencies in Geneva and New York.

Focus on competitiveness

These achievements illustrate the basic premise that guides ITC technical cooperation today--that ITC must go beyond the narrowly defined area of trade promotion. For programmes to have impact in a complex trade environment, they must address competitiveness and what it implies for countries, sectors and firms. ITC specializes in addressing the competitiveness of firms: the capability to produce and deliver, in a timely manner, a product or service at a quality and price that the market demands.

It continues to invest in developing tools and programmes and is striving to maximize synergies between them. …

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