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  • LATIN AMERICA

    The Latin America (LA) region displays a high-level of sophistication in its requests for export assistance, and ITC responds with tailor-made approaches to specific problems. The export industry needs to be more diversified, to incorporate higher added value, and to orient towards fast-growing products and services. Countries in the region have made great efforts to liberalize their economies and integrate into the world trading system including through bilateral and multilateral agreements.

    In order to reach these objectives over the medium- to long-term, ITC’s work is concentrated on the following key areas.

    Strengthening the capacities of export development service providers 

    Sectoral trade support institutions have a long history in the region. ITC’s work aims to consolidate partnerships with established Trade Promotion Organizations (TPOs) to disseminate its services and strengthen the newer networks to share best practices from the region.  This work is combined with technical assistance to TPOs and other trade support institutions that need to improve their effectiveness. For example, a new project in Peru’s Northern Corridor will strengthen the capacities and efficiency of TSIs providing services to agribusiness exporters, and improve coordination between public and private sectors at the national and regional level. Other projects include:

    • The upgrade and development of the APEX-Brazil Trade Intelligence Unit.
    • The Modular Learning System on supply chain management in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Panama, and Peru.
    • Regional training activities for trade representation and networking in Mexico and Paraguay.
    • The Non-Tariff Measures project in Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay with the aim to improve the information TSIs have on non-tariff barriers and their capacity to support their exporters.

    The Ibero-American network of TPOs offers an example of a potent channel through which service providers in the region cooperate.

    Regional Presence  

    ITC’s new regional office in Mexico City, to be opened in 2011, will be an important vehicle for strengthening the capacities of export development service providers. The regional office could further serve as a catalyst for the different technical, and often subject specific, networks ITC has developed in the region over the years.

    Enhance SME capacity to define and implement strategies for new and innovative sectors 

    Many exporters in Latin America share common trade challenges including improving the international competitiveness of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by adding value to traditional export products, upgrading production processes, improving quality control, entering service markets, and analyzing market trends. ITC’s strategy focuses on facilitating SME participation in regional networks and global supply chains while improving their capacity to anticipate demand and target new markets for value added products and skill based services. For example, the new Biotrade project draws on the competitive strengths of SMEs in the biotrade and pharmaceutical markets, creating opportunities for SMEs engaged in biodiversity based businesses.

    Furthering the Millennum Development Goals and attending to the region’s persisting inequalities will be essential to ITC’s overall strategy. We will work towards this through nurturing the capacities of TSIs and enterprises to reduce poverty, generate employment for disadvantaged groups, and deliver effective services to constituents. One example is the Women and Trade Programme (Empowering Women Business Enterprises) for Mexico and Peru. This programme, building on the success of a Spanish-funded project in Peru, will help women exporters of Alpaca wool products establish sustainable business relationships with US buyers. Another example is the project on CARIFORUM Creative industries, which will promote the sector as a viable contributor to export diversification.

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