Ithraa, Oman’s inward investment and export promotion agency has joined a multinational initiative to help enhance low-income countries as well as exporters with trade information support.
Ithraa signed a Memorandum of Understanding with ITC along with five countries (Oman, Austria, Italy, New Zealand, Qatar and France) to facilitate the free access of Low Income countries to an international database of imports and exports markets.
“We are proud to be one of the first to support ITC’s initiative to help develop the economies of low income countries by providing them with access to detailed analysis of current trade patterns, indicators, growth markets and forecasts for future commerce. Trade Map is a valuable tool when planning and executing trade strategies, as it helps create opportunities for developing nations to enter world markets,” said Nasima Al Balushi, Director General of Export Development at Ithraa.
The Initiative came out of funding from six trade promotion organizations (TPOs) in high-income countries and is designed to ensure that businesses in developing countries have continued free usage of the International Trade Centre’s (ITC) Trade Map database, including access to information on potential trading partners in more than 60 countries. This funding of Trade Map, an online database of trade statistics combined with a directory of exporters and importers, forms a central part of a new initiative launched by ITC to increase exports, income and employment opportunities in developing countries.
Advantage Austria, the Italian Trade Promotion Agency (ICE), New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, Ithraa in Oman, Qatar Development Bank and Ubifrance are all participants in ITC’s first North-South TPO partnership for development programme, launched on 12 June. The programme is aimed at boosting exports from developing countries by providing businesses with access to trade data that can facilitate new partnerships.
“This initiative is a building block towards further trade and development partnership initiatives between ITC and TPOs,” said Jean-Marie Paugam, ITC’s Acting Executive Director. “It is based on the promotion of ‘win-win’ exchanges between TPOs from high-income countries and TPOs from lower-income countries. These include the sharing of information through our respective websites, ad hoc joint technical assistance and joint trade promotion events,” Jean-Marie added.
The six TPOs have agreed to fund access to the profiles of 550,000 companies on ITC’s Trade Map database. Small and medium-sized enterprises in developing economies will be able to use the data to identify import and export markets and choose potential company partners. Users in developing and least developed countries represent more than 80% of the 300,000 registered users of Trade Map.