Western and Central Africa
Eastern and Southern Africa
Eastern Europe and Central Asia
ITC publications on environment and trade
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.
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
Global concern about environmental issues is driving a growing global market for environmental goods and services and sustainably-sourced products. This market contributes to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals through delivering both improved environmental quality and livelihood benefits for the poor in developing countries.
ITC offers a range of information on trade and environment issues through numerous publications on topics that touch on highly relevant issues such as climate change, sustainability standards and sustainable sourcing, wildlife, and environmental services, among others.
The rhinoceros face the risk of extinction in the wild if current poaching rates continue. Viet Nam uses horn as an ingredient in Traditional Asian Medicine (TAM).An ITC survey of 1000 consumers of TAM found they preferred rhino horn that is sourced in the wild, in a non-lethal way. While media campaigns and stiffer enforcement measures would reduce consumption, there is likely to remain a small hard core of users (30%).
Trade in biodiversity generates income for some of the world’s poorest people, while also contributing to wildlife conservation. Two reports on python skin exports in Peninsular Malaysia and Viet Nam outline how this trade from wild-harvested and captive-bred sources creates employment and reduces poverty. The report provides relevant data and identifies capacity-building initiatives to support export development.
Buying quinoa contributes to better livelihoods for rural Peruvian communities, according to this study. It provides data on the impact of changing market prices on the welfare of rural households in the altiplano of Peru. The findings inform policymakers about the benefits of the trade and challenges facing smallholders, following conflicting media reports on the impact of higher quinoa prices.
Amid global concern about biodiversity loss and the surge in illegal trade of threatened species, international policy has turned its attention to trade restrictions, enforcement measures and demand-reduction strategies. This analytical framework recommends that policy decisions should balance factors related to the species and its habitat; governance and institutional settings; supply-chain structure; and markets.
Markets for agricultural and natural products
Looking at the global market for sustainably wild-collected botanical ingredients from China, this study promotes recognition and implementation of sustainable wild-collection standards and certification schemes in China. It also examines exports of wild-collected and cultivated botanical, algal and fungal ingredients and market segments.
Peruvian producers and exporters find in this study an overview of the market potential in the United States and Canada for three natural ingredients that are essential for biodiversity: golden berry, Peruvian mesquite and sacha inchi. The study provides market, regulatory and technical requirements; contact details for finished-product companies that use Peruvian natural ingredients; and recommendations for Peruvian producers to produce with consistent quality.
Publication Date: 2013
This paper provides key information about the North American natural products market with a special focus on selected South American and African products. It includes a description of products, prices and distribution channels, as well as requirements for access in terms of regulations, standards, product presentation and application forms.
This paper provides easy-to-follow guidance on the basic labelling requirements for finished natural product and sustainability certification. It includes in-depth guidance on labelling requirements for all categories of natural products, namely cosmetics, herbal dietary supplements, health food, and herbal drugs.
This paper describes the types of claim statements permissible for dietary supplements and health food products, non-food cosmetic products, and over-the-counter drug products marketed in the United States. It provides examples of acceptable and non-acceptable claims for a range of Peruvian exported natural products as well as links to the relevant regulations and guidance documents.
This publication provides guidance to developing country exporters – mainly from Africa – on accessing new and emerging country markets, such as China. It provides an initial overview of the Chinese market for organic products, as well as inputs for an initial proactive marketing strategy and preparation of the exporter’s sales visit.
This case study of a Chinese solar panel producer investigates the role of services in manufacturing value chains, and highlights the effect of government policies on photovoltaic industry development and international trade flows. The case illustrates how both domestic and foreign government policies can impact solar panel manufacturing and export.
Understanding the global demand for environmental goods and services can unlock new export opportunities for small firms in developing country. This study provides a market overview of this complex sector, which is expected to rise to $1.9 trillion by 2020. Providing practical tips for small businesses, it has the latest information on moves to reduce both tariff and non-tariff barriers to environmental goods, and harmonize standard lists for environmental goods and services.
This guide provides project managers with tools to assess environmental considerations in project planning and implementation, in order to mitigate risks, enhance resilience and seize opportunities to expand trade in sustainable goods and services.
Climate change is reducing the competitiveness of agricultural exports from developing countries.Agri-food exporters in Peru and Uganda call on their governments to integrate climate change into long-term, sector-specific policies and investment strategies. The study recommends an international climate platform to share best practices; targeted training; sustainable certification; and financing for sustainable practices.
This is a first training guide that helps tea farmers and factories lower their emissions and reduce energy costs. Created with the Ethical Tea Partnership, the Rainforest Alliance and FLOCERT using a Kenya Tea Development Agency factory as a pilot case, this report shows that climate change is having an impact on tea quantity and quality. It outlines options for tea factory managers and farm extension officers and outlines carbon footprint measurement.
This paper aims to guide exporters of agricultural products through the process of product carbon footprinting. It presents a typology of PCF schemes and initiatives, the different steps involved in calculating a PCF, the main challenges in relation to methodology, data and uncertainty, issues particularly relevant to developing countries, and an overview of potential mitigation measures.
Cotton production is both a contributor to and a ‘victim’ of climate change.This report summarizes the impact of cotton production and consumption on climate change and the options and incentives for reducing emissions. It also examines the impact of climate change on cotton production and the options for adaptation.
This paper focuses on the effect of climate change on global coffee production, with particular reference to small coffee producers in developing and least developed countries. It highlights the effects of climate change on quality, yield, pests and diseases, and irrigation; considers potential areas of intervention, and looks at short-term solutions and long-term strategies to better prepare coffee producers with initiatives to reduce product carbon footprint.
Publication date: 2010
This joint ITC-European University Institute report aims to uncover what makes standards more accessible to producers. The institutional design of standards and their governance structure can make standards more accessible through cost sharing, assistance and transparency. It shows how country-level characteristics affect the number of standards available and provides guidance for policymakers on how to support the integration of small businesses into sustainable value chains.
This first global data report on fast-growing voluntary sustainability standards outlines the share of bananas, cocoa, coffee, cotton, forestry, palm oil, soybeans, cane sugar and tea in 14 major standards.The publication is based on a partnership with the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) and the International Institute of Sustainable Development (IISD) and offers a structured way to formalize the reporting process with a view to making data on sustainable markets more accessible to all users.
Refugees and economic opportunities