Magazine article International Trade Forum

Our Readers Write

Magazine article International Trade Forum

Our Readers Write

Article excerpt

Going beyond reading Forum articles used in training workshops

My organization, which subscribes to Forum, delivers services to developing country producers to enhance their export skills. As part of a new training workshop we are designing on effective sales missions, we used the article "Business Negotiations: Making the First Offer" (2/2000) to help us design negotiation role plays and provide guidance on best practice. We will pilot this workshop with small businesses in Malawi and will deliver it in a variety of other countries.

I thought we'd let you know that we are using it as a basis for some of our work.

Claire McGuigan (clairem@traidcraft.co.uk), Market Access Advisor, Traidcraft, United Kingdom

Web site: http://www.traidcraft.org.uk

Partner with Africa for information and education on trade development

Thank you for the intellectual revelations Forum has offered me. Most Africans' views on North-South relations, including trade, are anchored in the belief that colonialism was the major cause of African underdevelopment. But your publication reveals that not addressing supply-side constraints has been the major cause. Empirical evidence shows that some former colonies like India, Malaysia and Singapore are developing because of the commitment of their leadership to creating an enabling environment.

The African problem is first one of knowledge and understanding and only then of lack of finance. Public-private partnerships can help create an environment that promotes enterpreneurship and imagination, and awareness of where the world is going - such as the importance of "e"-competency for development.

UNDP, UNCTAD, WTO and ITC have roles to play in refocusing African countries' views regarding the development benefits of participating in the global trading system. This is important due to the resurgence of bilateral and regional trade agreements. Africa should be given more preferential attention because of its base-line economic development.

Trade-related international organizations should partner with African governments, educational institutions, private-sector organizations like chambers of commerce, and groups and individual experts on global trade to disseminate trade development information, just as other international organizations disseminate information in their fields. This approach will educate Africans about trade opportunities (for example, in the services sector) and available technical cooperation programmes (such as ITC's poverty alleviation programme). …

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