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    On the Agenda: World Conference of Trade Promotion Organizations

     

     
     
    © International Trade Centre, International Trade Forum - Issue 1/2003

    New TPO awards and innovative export management approaches will mark the next gathering, which will take place in Malta in 2004.

    "Thinking outside of the box" will be the driving concept behind the next World Conference of Trade Promotion Organizations, which will be held in Malta in the last quarter of 2004. The event will be co-hosted by the Malta External Trade Corporation (METCO) and ITC.

    From Beijing to Malta

    The conference, the fifth in a series, serves as an opportunity for TPO leaders to debate new trends, exchange views on best practices and to network internationally, regionally and bilaterally. The World Conference of Trade Promotion Organizations is held every two years. Previous meetings took place in Cartagena, Colombia in 1996; Santiago, Chile in 1998; Marrakech, Morocco in 2000 and Beijing, China in 2002.

    Innovative trade promotion

    Stephen Sultana, Chief Executive Officer of METCO, met with J. Denis Bélisle, ITC's Executive Director, and ITC senior staff in March to plan the event. Before meeting, they sounded out TPO leaders active in regional TPO groupings, in order to develop an agenda that reflects the interests of TPOs around the world.

    TPO leaders are looking to discuss cutting-edge, innovative approaches that boost national exports. Generating income, exploring trade and investment linkages, expanding networking avenues, encouraging innovation, building synergies and developing business advocacy skills for trade negotiations are among the topics under consideration. What the topics have in common is that they require lateral thinking, new approaches and a comparison of TPO experiences from around the world.

    New TPO awards

    The first awards competition for TPOs worldwide will be launched at the next World Conference of Trade Promotion Organizations. An interregional panel of judges from the TPO community will review candidatures for the awards and make the final decisions. The criteria for entering the competition will be published in Forum magazine towards the end of 2003. TPOs will be invited to submit their entries for the awards in early 2004.

    For more information, contact Stephen Sultana, CEO, METCO at stephen.sultana@metco.net or Philip Williams, ITC Senior Adviser on Institutional Aspects of Trade Promotion, at williams@intracen.org