International Trade Center (ITC)
Established in 1964, the International Trade Centre (ITC) is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations, dedicated to supporting development and internationalization of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Executive Director – Ms. Pamela Coke-Hamilton (Jamaica).
ITC has more than 300 employees.
ITC's focuses on provision of technical assistance to developing countries and countries with economies in transition with the aim to increase the competitiveness of SMEs, create new jobs primarily for women and youth, and facilitate their access to the international market. Detailed information about the ITC is available on its official website.
ITC has developed special databases in order to facilitate access to trade-related information, primarily for small and medium-sized enterprises: Trade Map, Market Access Map, Investment Map, Trade Competitiveness Map, Procurement Map, Export Potential Map, Sustainability Map.
Belarus has a long history of cooperation with ITC in terms of supporting and enhancing the export potential of Belarusian SMEs, strengthening the expertise of Belarusian state bodies, achieving the SDGs and increasing the economic involvement of women.
In 2005, a cooperation agreement was signed between ITC and the National Center for Marketing and Price Studies (NCMPS), which allowed to organize a number of training events for the representatives of Belarusian business and government.
On 22 March 2016, a seminar on ITC Trade Map and Market Access Map was held in Minsk for representatives of government bodies, government organizations, local authorities and academic circles.
Following the meetings of Mr. V.Koltovich, Minister of Antimonopoly Regulation and Trade of Belarus, and Ms. M.Schetkina, Deputy Chairman of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus, with Ms. A.Gonzalez, ITC Executive Director, held in July 2017 and March 2018 respectively, agreements were reached on how to expand bilateral cooperation.
On 8 April 2019, Mr. V.Sadokho, Director of the NCMPS, met with Mr. A.Shah, Director of ITC Department of Country Programs, in order to discuss possible new areas of cooperation between the NCMPS and the ITC, including training activities on ITC databases for representatives of Government and interested organizations of Belarus.
Since 2018, under the project “Eastern Partnership. Ready to Trade – an EU4Business Initiative”, ITC has been implementing a technical assistance programme in Belarus aiming at supporting Belarusian clothing industry enterprises.
Under the programme a pilot group of SMEs receive ITC expert support aimed at improving their product quality, increasing labor productivity, improving the processes of management, marketing, distribution of goods etc.
In 2018-2020, ITC has prepared an analytical study “Value Chain Analysis. Textile and Sewing Sector of the Republic of Belarus”. It has carried out 8 events aimed at increasing the export potential and competitiveness of textile and fashion industry SMEs in the international market with the focus on EU countries, including:
- training in digital trade and e-commerce for textile SMEs (13-17 May 2019, Brest);
- roundtable “Problems and prospects for the provision of services for SMEs by business support organizations in the Eastern Partnership countries” (2-5 September 2019, Minsk);
- training on the development of export marketing strategies for sewing SMEs in Belarus on entering the EU market (21-24 October 2019, The Hague);
- presentation of study “Value Chain Analysis. Textile and Sewing Sector of the Republic of Belarus” (5 December 2019, Minsk);
- seminar “Assortment management in the fashion industry” (2-6 March 2020, Brest).
- webinar “Technologies of retail sales for fashion industry enterprises ” (23-27 March 2020)
- webinar “Methodologies for planning and managing product range for textile enterprises” (6-9 April 2020);
- webinar and individual consulting for enterprises on the topic “Wholesale management in the fashion industry” (11 — 15 May 2020);
- webinar “Retail management in the fashion industry” (1 – 5 June 2020).
In October 2019, the ITC also held a seminar in Geneva on ITC databases for teachers and students of the Belarusian State Economic University.