By ITC News
GENEVA, Switzerland – Small businesses (MSMEs) will be key drivers in the recovery of global trade after COVID-19. To support long-term growth, the European Union has now endorsed free access to the International Trade Centre’s (ITC) Market Analysis Tools for all EU users – individuals, companies, organisations – until December 31, 2022, when the programme ends.
Since 2017, ITC’s Market Analysis Tools have already been free for all users in developing countries thanks to EU support. The EU has been supporting ITC’s Market Analysis Tools under the EU project called International Market Information Tools as a Global Public Good.
This aims at promoting the international transparency and availability of market information as a public good, as a means for MSMEs, in particular in developing countries, to increase their participation in the world economy and maximise the benefits thereof. Results from ITC’s Market Analysis Tools users’ annual survey indicate that the tools have helped companies worldwide achieve an overall trade impact of over €1 billion since the start of the project. Throughout that time, the number of users has grown from 600,000 to over 1 million, while more than 15,000 individuals have benefited from the associated training.
The EU is the world’s biggest economy and its biggest exporter and importer. As part of the EU-ITC collaboration and via ITC’s tools, EU companies can also enjoy user-friendly access to crucial data for market and investment prospecting in developing countries, thus facilitating the identification of trade and partnership opportunities. With the upgraded free access to market information, for instance, EU companies can now search for new suppliers in developing countries from the Company contact module of Trade Map and retrieve the latest monthly trade statistics of 190 other countries and territories with a few clicks.
Pamela Coke-Hamilton, ITC executive director, said: ‘Timely and concise trade information is more valuable than ever for trade to resurge. To build back better, trade intelligence for businesses is key. We see the provision of free access to EU users as a contribution to driving renewed growth.’
Koen Doens, director-general for International Partnerships at the European Commission, added: ‘With the EU support, ITC’s Market Analysis Tools have been providing free access to market information to users in partner countries, and now EU users can also benefit from it. This upgraded access will further facilitate business and trade relationships across continents and help micro, small and medium-sized enterprises worldwide increase their visibility and investment opportunities.’
ITC invites European national trade promotion organisations (TPOs) and industry associations to submit an expression of interest in webinars for their staff and beneficiaries at email@example.com. The webinars will raise awareness of the free access and the usefulness of ITC’s Market Analysis Tools for economic operators and the wider trade community.
Video statements from director-general Koen Doens and executive director Pamela Coke- Hamilton: