The government of Finland and the International Trade Centre (ITC) today signed an agreement that will see Finland provide €5 million in funding to support ITC’s work to foster inclusive growth, development, and job creation through trade.
The agreement was signed by Ambassador Kirsti Kauppi, Permanent Representative of Finland in Geneva, and ITC Executive Director Pamela Coke-Hamilton in a virtual ceremony.
With €2 million in unearmarked core-funding and €3 million in soft-earmarked funding the contribution will support ITC’s efforts in connecting small businesses in developing countries to international markets through inclusive, equitable and green trade. The Finnish contribution will also allow ITC to support the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area by helping MSMEs to benefit from the opportunities of the African regional market; and to supporting the post-COVID recovery.
‘ITC and Finland have a long history of close cooperation and partnership and this agreement underlines the strong strategic alignment between ITC’s mandate and the Finnish government’s development policy priorities.’ said ITC Executive Director Pamela Coke-Hamilton. ‘ITC and Finland share common goals in empowering women and girls, adding value to trade and supporting MSMEs transition to greener business practices while placing particular emphasis on strengthening the least developed countries and fragile states. On behalf of ITC and its partners around the world, I thank the people and government of Finland.
Ambassador Kirsti Kauppi underlined the importance of the cooperation between ITC and Finland, ‘The priorities of Finland and the ITC are exceptionally well aligned and we regard the ITC as our number one partner in supporting especially women’s entrepreneurship in developing countries. Through our cooperation, we want to empower women and girls, create youth employment opportunities, advance green and circular economy, and strengthen the developing countries’ own economies to generate more jobs, livelihoods and well-being.’
About ITC- The International Trade Centre is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. ITC assists small and medium-sized enterprises in developing and transition economies to become more competitive in global markets, thereby contributing to sustainable economic development within the frameworks of the Aid-for-Trade agenda and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.