Three Trade Promotion Organisations win top awards at WTPO conference

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Organisations Awards
Organisations Awards

The 2022 World Trade Promotion organisations conference has ended in Accra with Jamaica, Malaysia and Zimbabwe receiving this year’s top awards for launching innovative programmes in their countries that offered small businesses opportunities to benefit from trade.

The three countries picked up the awards after emerging tops from 14 countries in the respective categories when the awards were announced in Accra.

Executive Director of International Trade Centre (ITC), Ms. Coke-Hamilton, said, “these awards recognize bold, innovative trade promotion organisations at a time of uncertainty. Trade promotion organisations everywhere have been stepping up to provide a lifeline to businesses who so desperately need it.”

She added, “these awards offer examples of scalable solutions to inspire trade promotion organizations everywhere.’
The competition, open to all national trade promotion organisations, recognises excellence in trade support services.

The organisations must show that their initiatives help micro, small and medium-sized enterprises to become competitive in international markets.

The jury included the former winners from Georgia, Costa Rica and Sweden; the previous conference host, France; and the current host, Ghana.

Other national shortlisted countries were: Brazil, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia in the category of partnerships; United Republic of Tanzania (information technology); Republic of Korea, the Netherlands, Zambia (sustainable and inclusive trade).

In the Best use of a partnership category, Jamaica Promotions Organisation emerged winner for helping improve the export capacity of 50 SMEs through training, mentorship pairings and group financing initiative with Qatar Development Bank and Export Development and Promotion Agency taking the runner-up position.

In the best use of Information Techonlogy Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation won with its digitised initiative 17th Edition of the Malaysia International Halal Showcase – Virtual Edition.

By digitizing the Malaysia International Halal Showcase in 2021, SME exports continued to grow in the halal industry despite Covid-19 disruptions. The virtual showcase opened up new markets and made business connections more convenient and cost-effective.

The second position in the category went to Advantage Austria, which matched food producers up with wholesalers abroad during COVID travel restrictions in an innovative push from Advantage Austria.

At a time when travel restrictions nearly stopped the flow of SME exports, Advantage Austria combined virtual business meetings with face-to-face tastings by expanding its B2B platform and using its international office network.

The initiative connected 150 food producers with 250 buyers in 38 countries. It was one of the few business-to-business activities in lockdown. The initiative also reduced costs, staff time and the environmental footprint for business matchmaking.

The runner-up was Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, Global Affairs Canada.

In the Best use of information technology, Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation came tops with Austria – Advantage Austria and Canada – Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, Global Affairs Canada settling for the second spot.

The Best initiative for inclusive and sustainable trade category was won by Zimbabwe with Sri Lanka Export Development Board second.

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