What is the ITC and how can it benefit SMEs?

Alibaba.com NOVEMBER 04, 202112 MIN READ
What is the ITC and how can it benefit SMEs?

Cross-border trade opens many doors for businesses and individuals in nations with developing economies. However, it can be a bit difficult to tap into a new market, especially an international one, when your resources are limited.

That’s why many small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) lean into the support of the ITC, a global organization that is geared towards sustainable economic development.

In this post, we’re going to discuss what the ITC is and how it benefits SMEs. We will look at several different functions and objectives of the organization.

What is the ITC?

The International Trade Centre, or “ITC” for short, is an organization that creates opportunities and stimulates economies by helping SMEs get into cross-border trade. This organization was founded by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United Nations (UN) in 1964.

Although the ITC is governed by the WTO and the UN, the organization has a variety of policymakers, enterprise stakeholders, and trade and investment support institutions (TISIs) that offer funding and support as well.

Some of the main objectives of the ITC include:

  • Making connections in international markets
  • Increasing income opportunities
  • Encouraging sustainable development in poor communities
  • Increasing trade competitiveness in economies
  • Creating job opportunities
  • Empowering young people and women entrepreneurs

The ITC focuses on providing support in countries that share the need for economic development. Some of the qualifiers they look for include least developed countries (LDCs), landlocked developing countries, and small island territories. Sub-Sarahan Africa is also a major target.

The organization tends to approach entire regions at a time because it allows them to make the most of their resources.

How does the ITC benefit small to medium-sized enterprises?

Although the ITC’s mission is to develop economies, there are some additional positive outcomes. SMEs can benefit from the ITC’s efforts in a variety of ways.

Let’s break down some of the most significant benefits.

Promotes trade facilitation reforms

The reason that many nations struggle to break out of their insufficient economic cycles is that the governing systems that are set in place make it hard for them to make a change.

Trade facilitation reform calls for the reconsideration of existing trade policies and regulations that may be suppressing the economy.

The ITC takes a strategic approach to reform. Plans are crafted and implemented after careful analysis of the current situation. The organization works with a variety of policymakers to make this possible.1

When trade facilitation reform is effective, SMEs can generally operate in conditions that are more suitable for their success.

Connects SMEs to markets

Private sector development is one of the many efforts of the ITC. This directly affects SMEs because it often gives them the resources to connect with their target market. The goal is to help these businesses flourish so that they become a source of prosperity.

The idea is that if local SMEs are doing well, it will create jobs and opportunities in the community.2 By creating jobs, more people have money to spend which helps to stimulate the economy and increase the quality of life for more people.

The ITC puts an emphasis on trade and market intelligence. They’ve used innovative research methods and market analysis tools to facilitate global trade since the organization was founded in the 60s. This intelligence is used to assess the market and public goods.

Access to these tools and resources gives SMEs the ability to expand and grow.

Fosters sustainable and inclusive development

Inclusion and sustainability are two cornerstones of the International Trade Centre. The organization strives to protect vulnerable groups of people and combating climate change ties into that.

In the name of inclusion, the ITC shines a special spotlight on women's economic empowerment and youth entrepreneurship. These are two demographics that are traditionally overlooked when it comes to creating opportunities and breeding prosperity, so the ITC has made a special effort to empower these groups.

The ITC offers support to these groups by providing resources and mentorship for micro-entrepreneurs and social enterprises. Specifically, they help them to forge relationships with international customers and business partners to help them grow their brands.

Although a lot of the ITC’s inclusive development is specifically geared towards micro-entrepreneurs and social enterprises, this initiative provides support for women-owned SMEs, as well.

The efforts to support vulnerable demographics are intertwined with efforts for environmental protection, conservation, and sustainability.3 This includes implementing support for sustainable growth via green trade and environmental consciousness.

Builds export capacity of SMEs

Internationalization is another main focal point of the ITC. It paves the way for SMEs to trade across borders and tap into the global market.

One of the things that the ITC uses to help SMEs expand into the international space is eCommerce.4 The organization offers a special program called “ecomConnect” that helps aspiring exporters learn the ropes of eCommerce and launch their own online brands.

ecomConnect was created specifically to help entrepreneurs harness the power of the internet and build sustainable online operations.

Sell on Alibaba.com

Expanding into an international market is made easy and accessible with the support of a powerful B2B eCommerce marketplace, such as Alibaba.com.

Alibaba.com is equipped with a variety of tools to facilitate cross-border trade for businesses of any size. These include customizable storefronts, customer management tools, a chat portal with automatic translations, analytics, advertising, and more. We also offer smart listing tools that make it easy to test a new offer with your audience.

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  1. https://www.intracen.org/itc/goals/Connecting-to-value-chains-SME-competitiveness-diversification-and-links-to-export-markets/
  2. https://www.intracen.org/itc/goals/Connecting-to-value-chains-SME-competitiveness-diversification-and-links-to-export-markets/
  3. https://www.intracen.org/itc/goals/Promoting-and-mainstreaming-inclusive-and-green-trade/
  4. https://www.intracen.org/itc/goals/Connecting-to-value-chains-SME-competitiveness-diversification-and-links-to-export-markets/