The World Tr@de Net Programme

An initiative of the International Trade Centre UNCTAD/WTO (ITC), the World Tr@de Net responds to the need for practical advice and training of members of the business community on WTO issues that are directly relevant to their business operations.

Since the signature of the WTO Agreements in 1994, considerable expertise on the multilateral trading system has been acquired in many countries. The "World Tr@de Net" programme seeks to draw on this knowledge in both the private and public sectors of those dealing with WTO issues in their respective countries. The programme contributes to the coordination of local efforts to address the business implications of the WTO rules, in view of the fact that:

- managers and entrepreneurs require practical information and support to prepare for, and cope with, the major changes brought about by the WTO framework;
- the business community at large requires timely information on new and emerging issues that are being discussed in the international arena, in order to participate in shaping the trading system;
- negotiators presenting their country's position in WTO forums need the views and support of their business communities.

Networking of key-players in international trade

Taking on the role of catalyst, ITC helps to develop and strengthen interaction between "key players" for business support at the national level. The resulting working and communication links among representatives of the public and private sectors constitute efficient loosely structured national networks.

These networks also provide a platform for identifying and voicing the views of the business community relating to national negotiating positions on WTO issues. Typically, network members include business and trade associations, WTO focal points in ministries, public and private trade support institutions, academia, specialized consultants and the press. The initiative and coordination of networking activities lies with the private sector.

World Tr@de Net Activities:

Together with its networking activities, World Tr@de Net:

- supports local initiatives seeking to provide advisory and training services on WTO-related issues to the business sector;
- channels, through network members, information on the rapidly evolving and constantly changing trading system to the business community;
- reinforces the private and public-sector interface on the business implications of the world trading system.

For more information:
World Tr@de Net: http://www.intracen.org/worldtradenet/welcome.htm

Contact: Mr. Peter Naray
Senior Adviser on the Multilateral Trading system
International Trade Centre UNCTAD/WTO (ITC),
Palais des Nations CH-1211 Geneva 10,
Switzerland
Fax (+41 22) 733 44 39
E-mail: naray@intracen.org.