Strength through partnerships

Strength through partnerships

CBI can look back at an eventful European summer. In July Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Lilianne Ploumen praised outgoing WTO Director General Pascal Lamy for his commitment to sustainable progress through trade, likening him to a “marathon man”. Accepting a Dutch honour bestowed on him by the Minister, Lamy commended CBI’s work on trade finance and impact measurement. Looking back at Lamy’s eight-year tenure, CBI Deputy Managing Director Dick de Man said: “He was a strong advocate of Aid for Trade. He showed particular interest in on-the-ground realities and particularly liked our hands-on approach to SMEs.”

Aid for Trade

Earlier in July CBI participated in the WTO’s 4th Global Review of Aid for Trade (AfT) in Geneva. Themed Connecting to Value Chains, the conference focused on the relationship between value chains, trade and the post-2015 development agenda.

Strength through partnerships

In panel discussions Bram van Helvoirt highlighted problems on access to trade finance and Dick de Man lobbied for strong private-sector engagement in the AfT agenda and bridging SMEs’ big knowledge gap through public-private partnerships. “I think the participants in the AfT conference will remember our innovative impact evaluation system. Working in real time, it enables much faster reactions to changes in the global trade environment,” he said.

July also saw CBI successfully conclude the second edition of the Netherlands Trust Fund (NTF II) as the budget holder of the ITC in Geneva. NTF II’s main outcome was described as “more effective business support services and improved export competitiveness and thus increased exports for participating SMEs”. De Man expressed pride in the way CBI’s collaboration with ITC, which now also extends to market intelligence, has developed since 2009.

Strength through partnerships

Looking ahead at NTF III, which runs from 2013 to 2017, the objective is to increase the income of producers and exporters in selected developing countries by creating more competitive sectors and contributing to sustainable economic development. NTF III will derive maximum benefit from the synergies between CBI and ITC while respecting their strategic priorities. The Dutch government has made US$9.7 million available for NTF III, an increase on the budget for NTF II.

Stronger impact

Dick de Man is convinced that, working together, ITC and CBI will be seen as a single, integrated donor and have a stronger impact. “In a clearly defined division of responsibilities, CBI has taken the lead on NFT III’s research and design and ITC is to lead in the area of implementation.”

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