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WTO, UNCTAD, ITC sign MoU to provide businesses with better access to trade data27 November 2018

The WTO, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the International Trade Centre (ITC) signed on 23 November 2018 a Memorandum of Understanding to advance the development of an online platform — the Global Trade Helpdesk www.helpmetrade.org — aimed at providing businesses, and particularly small businesses, with faster and easier access to trade data and information on potential export markets.

Under the MoU, the WTO, ITC and UNCTAD agree to further develop the platform, with the aim of improving the quality and accessibility of trade information needed by businesses – and in particular, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) - to access market opportunities. As part of the agreement, the three organizations will provide technical assistance to developing countries to help them maintain up-to-date information in the Global Trade Helpdesk and will raise awareness among MSMEs about how to benefit from this trade information.

The Helpdesk will contain comprehensive information from various sources on market requirements (such as tariffs, taxes, relevant health and safety standards for export products), export and import procedures (such as pre-shipment formalities, certification and inspection processes), business opportunities (such as market prices and upcoming events) and current trade statistics. Development of the Helpdesk will take place over three three-year phases. However, it is scheduled to be fully functional in phase 1.

In addition to drawing on data from ITC, UNCTAD and the WTO, the Global Trade Helpdesk will integrate trade information from a number of other international organizations and development banks, including the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the World Bank Group.

An early version of HelpMeTrade.org was launched at the WTO’s 11th Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in December 2017.

Press-release at the WTO official web-site

© RSPP International Cooperation department

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