Trade Secrets: What Do First-Time Exporters Need to Know?

By McCue, Sarah; Domeisen, Natalie | International Trade Forum, January 1, 1999 | Go to article overview

Trade Secrets: What Do First-Time Exporters Need to Know?


McCue, Sarah, Domeisen, Natalie, International Trade Forum


ITC is working with 30 institutions worldwide to create a series of national guides called Trade Secrets. The guides provide answers to the most common exporting questions. This section takes a "Close Up" look at the Trade Secrets process - questions exporters ask, sample responses, which national guides are in development, and how partner institutions are using them.

Are you considering exporting a product or service for the first time? Are you an established exporter looking to expand into new areas? Or are you from an institution which helps small businesses expand into foreign markets?

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that export products or services - no matter where they are located face common questions about how to set up export operations and make them a success. Finding reputable foreign buyers, arranging finance, preparing a business plan, determining pricing, completing export documentation, packaging a product, obtaining shipping quotes these and other operational questions require answers in order to export successfully.

ITC has developed a cost-effective approach to reach a maximum of SMEs with practical answers to their most frequently asked questions about exports. The approach is based on a joint publishing and marketing process for a series of national guides called Trade Secrets: The Export Answer Book for Small and Medium-Sized Exporters.

The secrets to successful trading are not secrets at all. The secret aspect of the Trade Secrets publications is that exporters in developing countries are given - in one comprehensive publication the information, references and answers utilized by "export experts" in their country. Intended to be a one-stop source with answers to most questions that exporters ask, the publications also alert readers to little-known techniques to reduce costs, save time or find help those secrets of trade that would take exporters years to learn.

National versions are the key

Each Trade Secrets is co-published by ITC and a national partner institution, which researches, customizes, prints, markets and distributes its own customized version of the reference guide. ITC does not offer an international version, because the usefulness and value of the book comes from its customization to reflect unique issues facing exporters in, for example, Chile, Egypt, Mexico, South Africa, Turkey and Zimbabwe.

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