Supply Capacity > International Trade Centre (ITC)

Contributing to sustainable development by enabling SMEs in developing countries to export is the raison d’être of ITC. As a relatively small international organization, ITC cannot satisfy demand for direct TRTA on its own. ITC typically uses TSIs in partner countries to build long-term sustainability. During 2010–2011, ITC demonstrated an annual capacity to directly train 1,250 enterprises in basic business and export management, and coach 750 enterprises to generate exports. Thus, the organization’s approach to supporting enterprises is divided between tailor-made initiatives focused on export-led enterprise development, integrated sector development, and indirect support provided through trade support institutions to broaden ITC’s reach.

Export-led sector development

ITC’s approach to supply capacity is market driven. International buyers today expect suppliers to undertake services beyond simple production. ITC provides a holistic value chain perspective to assist small and medium enterprises, trade support institutions and communities to:

  • Develop market strategies in specific product/sectors and support them in enhancing product value;
  • Match supply-side requirements to demands in destination markets;
  • Convert commercial opportunities into actual business, for instance by facilitating linkages with buyers and marketing advice in export markets. 

In addition, ITC supports sector stakeholders and associations in designing and implementing sector strategies and sector development programmes.

Sectors are selected based on market opportunity and all initiatives are jointly implemented with local institutions to ensure the sustainability of results beyond the project duration.

ITC’s assistance to increase the international competitiveness of developing country exports is mainly provided through:

  • Training and counselling;
  • Marketing assistance; and
  • Information provision and advisory services.

The integrated sector development approach is employed by many of ITC’s large programmes, including the Netherlands Trust Fund II programme, which focuses on enhancing the competitiveness of sectors with high export potential in five countries: IT and IT-enabled services in Bangladesh, tree fruits in Kenya, mango in Senegal, Rooibos and automotive components in South Africa and coffee in Uganda. By the end of 2011, stakeholders in Uganda completed the update of the coffee sector strategy with the support of ITC. Coffee farmers were enabled to improve the quality of coffee exports in a relatively short period as a result of training delivered to coffee farmer associations on coffee drying, sorting and storage. In Kenya, the “Fruit Team” established within the Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya works with three commodity working groups, including strong private-sector representation, to devise a strategic long-term vision to boost exports of Kenyan avocados, mangoes and passion fruit.

For information: Sector development:

Exporter competitiveness

ITC provides solutions to assist SMEs in developing countries, including women-owned enterprises and poor communities to increase their international competitiveness. These solutions are customized to address the opportunities presented by international markets and the needs of the SMEs and may be packaged as part of sector value chain approach.

The exporter competitiveness tools offered by ITC include:

  • Packaging
  • Marketing and branding
  • E-business solutions

For more information:

Exporter competitiveness

Modular Learning System on Supply Chain Management

Over the past ten years, the Supply Chain Management (SCM) Programme of ITC has helped train over 25,000 business managers worldwide. Executives learn to manage the sourcing, movement and storage of goods from source of production to point of consumption. For enterprises, this means practical solutions to overcome challenges of export market demands; for buyers, this means optimized sourcing options. For local trade institutions, ITC is a solid partner offering best-in-class supply chain training and advisory programmes.

For more information:

Supply Chain Management: