Western and Central Africa
Eastern and Southern Africa
Eastern Europe and Central Asia
ITC publications on e-commerce
ITC publications on the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement
ITC publications on standards
ITC publications on women in trade
ITC publications on regional trade
This jargon-free guide explains the provisions with a focus on what businesses need to know. It also helps policy makers identify needs for technical assistance to implement and monitor it.
Available in: English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic and Russian
Developing countries can benefit from trade facilitation reforms by establishing a well-run National Trade Facilitation Committee.This guide gives developing countries a step-by-step approach to evaluate policy, organizational and funding options to create a detailed roadmap to set up National Trade Facilitation Committees – an obligation for countries implementing the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement. This is a joint guide by ITC, UNCTAD and UNECE, including UN/CEFACT.
Publication Date: 2015
Businesses extend their reach by understanding how to make the most of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement.This guide enables businesses to make border clearance faster, simpler and cheaper; resolve customs disputes fairly; obtain information on regulations and customs procedures easily; and become trusted partners of government in implementing and monitoring trade facilitation reforms. As a training manual, it has clear descriptions and practical exercises.
Publication date: 2015
This joint UNESCAP-ITC report advocates mainstreaming trade facilitation in development strategies for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).It highlights the potential for SME centres to share information on trade procedures, organize trade facilitation consultations and provide other services to help SMEs take advantage of this agreement. The report contains relevant provisions for SMEs, and suggestions for implementation.
Publication date: 2016
Many ITC publications touch on trade facilitation-related issues. Among them are publications providing practical legal advice, insights on what businesses perceive as regulatory and procedural obstacles to trade, and challenges to e-commerce businesses in cross-border delivery.
By integrating mediation and arbitration clauses into their international contracts, small firms can better protect themselves.Small firms venture into new markets with different languages, cultures and legal systems. This overview of traditional and alternative dispute resolution options has cases targeted to SMEs in developing countries. ITC welcomes partnerships to further translate and reprint this information locally.
Available in: English, French, Spanish
Most small firms do not have access to the legal advice they need when it comes to trading with all corners of the world. To meet this challenge, trade lawyers around the world worked pro-bono to create these model contracts that address the sophistication of international trade transactions, internationally recognized standards and best practices, and still make things as simple as they can be in a global context.
Publication Date: 2011Available in English, French and Spanish
Non-tariff measures, standards
Standards and regulations have a major impact on SME competitiveness.In analysing how SMEs can meet the standard for trade, the report touches on important trade facilitation topics, such as how procedural obstacles affect women, improving coordination at the border, insights on the WTO Trade Facilitation agreement, the value of public-private dialogue and more. It has business views on procedural and regulatory trade obstacles for 35 developing countries..
Publication Date: 2016
Small firms in the world’s poorest countries are hit hardest by non-tariff measures (NTMs), according to this ITC study on how businesses experience NTMs in 23 developing countries.These invisible barriers to trade are mostly a combination of conformity and pre-shipment requirements requested abroad, and weak inspection or certification procedures at home.
European exporters have similar experiences with non-tariff measures (NTMs) as developing countries, especially for procedures related to technical regulations, conformity assessment and rules of origin. An ITC-European Commission survey reveals that more than a third of European exporters encounter burdensome NTMs.
E-commerce: international delivery
This report is a starting point for public-private dialogue to address e-commerce bottlenecks, especially for small firms in developing countries. Small firms face policy challenges in four processes typical to all e-commerce: establishing online business, international e-payment, international delivery and aftersales. The report provides policy guidance checklists and case studies from e- commerce entrepreneurs in developing countries.
This report charts a roadmap to boost women's participation in trade. It shows where women-owned businesses are present and explains cultural and regulatory barriers. It gives ways to facilitate access to finance, market information and networks. It outlines a roadmap for action, based on better data, trade policy, corporate and public procurement initiatives, a better business environment, financial services and ownership rights.
Government procurement offers a unique route to empower women in business. Public procurement accounts for over 30% of GDP in developing countries and some 10%–15% of GDP in developed countries. Women-owned businesses have been largely excluded from this sizable market due to lack of access to information on bids, understanding of procedures and ability to meet requirements. This publication guides governments through the procurement process and capacity building to increase sourcing from women vendors.
Publication Date: 2014
Available in: English, French, Spanish, Arabic
This report explains microfinance for women engaged in the coffee sector in East Africa. It presents the key players and offers suggestions to expand access to microfinance.
Publication date: 2011
This report outlines women’s roles in cotton production in Africa, Asia and Latin America. It compares women’s participation in the total workforce in these regions and suggests how to improve competitiveness by re-evaluating the roles of women.
Many ITC publications provide advice on how to make regional trade happen. They discuss how to bring the business voice in key trade policy areas, present regional and intra-regional market data and analysis, and provide concrete advice on service industry coalitions, geographical indications and regional trade strategies.
Business in trade policy
A regional services industries group can help boost trade in services in the COMESA region, as this joint ITC-COMESA Business Council report shows. Services account for over 50% of GDP for most COMESA countries. Services industries can work across borders to counter common challenges of size, funding and know-how. The report has regional data for tourism, transport, finance and telecommunications; ‘services snapshots’ for each COMESA country; and a roadmap to promote regional trade in services.
Intraregional trade among Arab States is low compared with other regions. This publication offers insights into trade challenges and suggests how to address them. It shares company perspectives of exporters captured through ITC business surveys ITC in Egypt, Morocco, the State of Palestine and Tunisia. This is the first report to examine country surveys in a regional context.
TAsia-Pacific businesses call for services business groupings to join forces in a regional coalition, to shape a new APEC services agenda. Services represent 39% of APEC value-added trade – double the figures traditionally cited in balance of payments data. High-level businesses in the region consequently ask for twice the attention it received in the past. This report maps services organizations in the region.
Publication date: 2014
The EC-CARIFORUM Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) created business opportunities in services sectors and other investment opportunities. This guide looks at opportunities for Caribbean enterprises in Europe, as well as openings for European businesses in 13 Caribbean markets.
Sub-Saharan Africa can boost annual GDP by $15 billion if customs clearance time is cut by 50%, and another $20 billion with better transport infrastructure. This report recommends that sub-Saharan African countries focus on Asian and African markets. They should integrate more deeply into value-chains, to increase the share of semi-processed and processed goods. The report also recommends investing in trade-related infrastructure and trade facilitation within Africa, as well as with Asia.
Publication date: 2012
Market analysis for intraregional growth
Deeper regional integration goes hand-in-hand with stronger processing industries and more international small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Trade integration within and among African, Caribbean and Pacific Island groups are measured in this study. Regions with the fastest trade integration over the last decade offer neighbours the best access to their markets. They benefited from higher growth, more SME participation in trade and faster development.
Enhanced economic cooperation among Commonwealth states could boost trade integration, despite differences in geographic location and development. Using trade statistics to assess export performance of Commonwealth members, and taking into account different development levels and business climates, the report identifies policy options for stronger cooperation.
Publication date: 2013
Stronger ties between African cotton producers/ginners and Asian buyers can improve the market positioning of African cotton. This study examines African challenges to improve along the value chain to meet Asia’s growing demand. It recommends what can be done to develop partnerships between African cotton producers and ginners and cotton consuming spinning mills in export markets in Asia.
Benefitting from the LDC services waiver depends on taking 10 key actions. The guide outlines how ITC can work with LDCs to benefit from this new preferential access opportunity.
LDC services exports are growing twice as fast as the world average; the LDC share in world services exports is increasing. But services still account for only 10% of LDC exports. The business success stories in the study (from Bangladesh, Cambodia, Rwanda, Senegal, Uganda and Vanuatu) provide insights into what factors drive success, and what more might be done to enhance LDC services competitiveness.
Global value chains are key for LDCs to increase their share in global trade. Investment in Aid for Trade delivers significant returns, according to new evidence in this report. The world’s poorest countries have seen 12% annual growth in export revenue since the mid-1990s. Participation in global value chains has been a driving factor. Aid for Trade has been proven effective in countries with supportive policy and managerial environments, and can help LDCs tap into global value chains.
With only 10% of the world’s protected geographical indications coming from developing countries, there is great potential to use this tool to reduce poverty through trade. This is the first book targeted to the business sector in developing countries on this topic. It draws from eight case studies and 200 published reports to provide valuable insights on how to set up and monitor geographical indications, share costs and benefits, and interpret legal frameworks.
To educate policymakers about obstacles specific to trade in services, this guide is for firms, associations and trade institutions who wish to join forces through coalitions. Trade policies should reflect the voice of services firms in order to maximize growth opportunities. This guide analyses 26 services coalitions in order to outline the purpose, structure, financing, advocacy topics, and benefits to members.
Funding, government relations and outreach are critical to sustain coalitions of services industries. Best practices to sustain and grow such coalitions highlight the need to attract and retain members. Trade and investment support institutions, government ministries, business associations and chambers of commerce will find the guide useful to develop membership drives and public-private partnerships. The second in a series, the guide complements the publication Creating Coalitions of Service Industries.
Several International Trade Centre (ITC) publications provide insights that help small and medium-sized firms make the most of e-commerce.
This joint ITC-Alibaba publication reviews e-commerce development in China and what is needed for foreign firms to enter the market.Rapid growth in this area offers significant potential for neighbouring countires, especially small businesses in Asia, to increase their trade with China.
Available in: English
This report is a starting point for public-private dialogue to address e-commerce bottlenecks, especially for small firms in developing countries. Policy challenges affect small firms in four processes common to all: establishing online business; international e-payment; international delivery; and aftersales. Policy guidance checklists and case studies from e-commerce entrepreneurs in developing countries are included.
African enterprises can be successful in international e-commerce, if they are supported to address financial, infrastructure and socio-political barriers. This report outlines common concerns of African small and medium-sized business owners, based on surveys, interviews and literature reviews. The report recommends public-private sector initiatives, institutional and corporate capacity building, shared structures and technology, and improved access to transport and logistics.
This book provides e-commerce advice for small businesses in a question-and-answer format. Evergreen topics include financial aspects, legal issues, trust, online marketing techniques, market research and more.
Publication date: 2009
Refugees and economic opportunities