International Trade Centre (ITC)
International Trade Centre
54-56 Rue de Montbrillant
1202 Geneva, Switzerland
Palais des Nations
1211 Geneve 10, Switzerland
Tel. +41 22 730 0111
Fax: +41 22 733 4439
Established in 1964, the International Trade Centre (ITC) is fully dedicated to supporting the internationalization of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing and transition economies. SMEs represent more than 90% of businesses in any country. They account for two thirds of private sector employment, and create the majority of new jobs. ITC enables SMEs to become more competitive and connect to regional and international markets for trade and investment, thus raising incomes and creating job opportunities.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development explicitly recognizes trade as a means to achieve the Global Goals: “International trade is an engine for inclusive economic growth, job creation and poverty reduction, and contributes to the promotion of sustainable development.” ITC directly contributes to 10 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. ITC places particular emphasis on inclusiveness and sustainability, working with women-owned SMEs as well as youth, the poor, displaced persons and marginalized communities. ITC prioritizes support to least developed countries (LDCs), landlocked developing countries (LLDCs), small island developing states (SIDS), sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), post-conflict countries and small, vulnerable economies (SVEs).
Selected TCB programmes and initiatives in this guide
Understanding and addressing SME Competitiveness
Awareness of new issues in international trade
Strategies for export development
The private sector in trade policy
Increasing capacity for trade policy formulation
Modular Learning System on Supply Chain Management
The surrounding business environment
The national environment
Youth and trade: enabling young entrepreneurs to increase income and employment opportunities and expanding employment opportunities for youth in export value chains
ITC attaches great importance to partnerships through which ITC’s mandate of increasing SMEs’ international competitiveness in developing countries can be accomplished. This includes a wide variety of organizations at the national and regional levels, ranging from enterprises, trade-related government departments, trade and industry associations, chambers of commerce, trade financing institutions, standards boards, packaging institutes, to regional organizations specialized in selected trade and marketing functions.
Partnerships are defined with ITC’s parent organizations, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), in several operational areas, projects and programmes. In addition, ITC works with many other UN agencies, multi- and bilateral organizations, foundations, research institutes, and non-governmental organizations on joint projects and knowledge sharing. ITC is also instrumental in key partnerships such as the Enhanced Integrated Framework for Trade-Related Technical Assistance to Least Developed Countries (EIF).
The private sector is a critical partner in development, and a major driver of market opportunities, productivity, inclusive economic growth and job creation. ITC works with the private sector, for the private sector. It contributes to ITC’s work through co-investment, knowledge transfer and creation of market opportunities for SMEs.