Magazine article International Trade Forum

ITC News: Regional Roundup

Magazine article International Trade Forum

ITC News: Regional Roundup

Article excerpt

Some examples of ITC's technical cooperation activities by region this quarter:

* LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN ARGENTINA: Two ITC advisory missions financed by UNDP visited the country during the quarter to discuss possible future technical cooperation activities with the Government concerning the institutional infrastructure for trade promotion. Under legislation recently enacted, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs now has responsibility for export promotion abroad and will also manage the country's commercial representation offices in foreign countries. The Government has created a new promotional body, the Foundation Export-Ar, and an integrated export strategy is in the process of being defined. Two proposed ITC technical cooperation projects with the Government are under consideration.

COLOMBIA: An ITC technical cooperation project, financed by the Government of Japan, recently organized an initial marketing mission for Colombian exporters of exotic fruits to several leading supermarket chains in Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Because of the positive contacts made, a follow-up trip was carried out to Europe to formulate a market development plan. The costing, timing and quality of services in the international physical distribution chain for the export of fresh Colombian fruits to European markets will also be studied under the project.

An ITC mission visited Colombia during the quarter to identify areas in which ITC could provide technical cooperation services to organizations recently created by Bancoldex, the Foreign Trade Bank, which will be involved in export promotion in the future. New promotional activities will be supported by a recent World Bank loan to the Government. Proposals for technical cooperation projects are being prepared for possible financing through this source.

ECUADOR: ITC carried out a mission to the country in August in response to the Government's request for an extension and possible expansion of a technical cooperation project that ITC is implementing, funded by the Governments of Germany and Norway, on the development of exports of the rural-based toquilla-knitting industry.

* EUROPE, MEDITERRANEAN AND MIDDLE EAST

ALBANIA: Based on the findings and recommendations of an ITC programming mission to the country, an integrated technical cooperation project in trade development was recently drawn up in cooperation with UNCTAD. The proposal, which has been submitted to a donor country for financing, covers two main areas, namely the preparation of a long-term policy for trade development and export promotion measures, including export diversification and direct support to selected Albanian enterprises in priority industrial and agricultural sectors.

BAHRAIN: At the request of the Government and UNDP, an ITC programming mission visited Bahrain in September to prepare a project document on the development of the foreign trade sector. Proposed technical cooperation activities include advice on designing a national foreign trade strategy, establishing specialized institutions and services for the foreign trade sector, trade information, training of personnel and enterprise-level services in export development.

BELARUS: The UN Representative in Belarus visited ITC in July to discuss ITC's proposal for technical cooperation with the Government. The proposal is aimed at strengthening the capacity of Minsk's Information and Marketing Centre (IMC) in conducting training programmes and providing trade information services to exporters.

DJIBOUTI: Following ITC consultations with the Government, a project document was recently finalized concerning training activities in foreign trade techniques, a feasibility study on an airfreight forwarding company and the establishment of an international bonded warehouse system for the storage of goods. The project is being submitted for financing.

EGYPT: As part of an ITC export packaging project, financed by the Government of Finland, several staff of the Egyptian Export Promotion Centre (EEPC) underwent five weeks of training on specialized software in August and September. …

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