Magazine article International Trade Forum

ITC Brings a Trade Dimension to the World Summit on the Information Society

Magazine article International Trade Forum

ITC Brings a Trade Dimension to the World Summit on the Information Society

Article excerpt

The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), taking place in Geneva, in December 2003, and in Tunis, in November 2005, gathers leaders from government, the private sector, intergovernmental organizations, civil society and the media to address the challenges posed by the global digital divide.

ITC is making a notable contribution to the Geneva phase of the WSIS process by organizing a series of linked events to help promote the trade and business dimensions of the Summit, and by bringing the voice of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries and transition economies into the information society.

Preparing the terrain

ITC hosted an Expert Group Meeting on the Application of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) for Export Competitiveness of SMEs in Developing and Transition Economies in Geneva, in June 2003. The aim was to verify ITC's approaches to the e-trade development segment of technical assistance and to consolidate international experts' views on its contribution to WSIS.

ITC also dedicated a session on Development, Competitiveness and "e" during its global Executive Forum in Cancun, in September 2003. The aim was to address how SMEs in developing countries can reap the benefits of new technologies.

At the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Telecom World 2003 in Geneva, in October 2003, ITC's exhibit featured its portfolio of training programmes, diagnostic tools, advisory services and publications.

ITC's Regional E-Business Forum for Asia and the Pacific in Kathmandu, in November 2003, addressed how business communities in the region apply ICT in their daily operations.

ITC at the Summit

ITC and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (seco) are organizing a series of interactive workshops as part of the ICT4D Platform during WSIS. The aim is to help small firms in developing countries become more competitive in today's rapidly changing marketplace, using information and communication technologies.

The theme will be, The Changing Marketplace: Patting "E" to Work, the workshops address practical experiences of e-business development and focus on finding new ways of doing traditional business; seizing new ICT-related business opportunities; and helping SME exporters overcome the digital divide. The sessions cover ITC's E-trade Bridge programme, the Swiss-Jordanian e-trade platform, e-waste and e-security and other experiences of putting "e" to work around the world. …

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