Magazine article International Trade Forum

Executive Forum Highlights: International Perspectives

Magazine article International Trade Forum

Executive Forum Highlights: International Perspectives

Article excerpt

These selected examples from academic experts and international organizations formed part of the contributions to the event. Further contributions can be found on the Executive Forum Web site and in the forthcoming publication, Redefining Export Promotion.

Export Clustering in Nicaragua

EcoHamaca is a network of 11 handicraft hammock producers located in Masaya, Nicaragua. Each firm competes separately on the local market, but collaborates to develop foreign markets. Masayan wood and furniture producers standardized designs and production specifications and consolidated export-oriented production and pricing.

The network now has legal status, and it has hired a business development and training manager. Firms have adopted an ecologically friendly strategy that focuses on substituting the wood used for poles from a threatened species to a more abundant species and on using natural rather than chemical dyes. A common brand "made in Masaya" has been launched to promote local identity and establish cluster-wide production standards. Eventually the brand will be extended to all hand-crafted products produced in the cluster.

Contributed to the Executive Forum by Giovanna Ceglie, United Nations Industrial Development Organization

Checklist: National Competitiveness Framework

Macroeconomic stability. A stable, predictable macroeconomic environment for enterprise development, characterized by low budget deficits, tight inflation control and competitive exchange rates.

Liberalization. An outward-oriented, market-friendly trade and industrial regime emphasizing dismantling of import controls and tariffs.

Foreign investment. A pro-active foreign investment strategy which targets a few realistic sectors and host countries, encourages overseas promotional offices as public-private partnerships, creates competitive investment incentives and streamlines investment approval processes.

Training. Sustained investment in human capital at all levels (particularly tertiary-level scientific, information technology and engineering education) and increased enterprise training, including assistance for industry associations to launch training schemes, an information campaign to educate firms about the benefits of training and tax breaks for training. …

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