EU-ITC Market Information Tools as a Global Public Good
The exports of many developing countries, in particular least developed ones, depend on a few markets and are concentrated on a limited number of products characterized by low-value addition and a fragmentation of suppliers. This leaves their economies highly vulnerable to supply and demand shocks.
Access to information about trade opportunities, demand and supply trends, trade performance and competitiveness, market structures, investment data and business contacts is essential to help identify opportunities for diversification and facilitate economic growth. Improving the transparency of market information globally also facilitates trade by reducing trade related transaction costs, and promotes good governance in providing private and public sector actors with equal knowledge about trade rules and opportunities.
International Market Information: a Global Public Good
Low-income countries disproportionately suffer from lack of access to accurate and affordable market information. To improve global trade transparency, the European Union is supporting the International Trade Centre to make a set of market analysis tools available online, for all users in developing countries. These tools have helped companies worldwide achieve an overall trade impact of over €1 billion since the start of the project. Throughout that time, the number of users has grown from 600,000 to over 1 million, while more than 15,000 individuals have benefited from the associated training.
Timely and concise trade information is more valuable than ever for trade to resurge. To build back better, trade intelligence for businesses is key. We see the provision of free access to EU users as a contribution to driving renewed growth.- Pamela Coke-Hamilton, ITC Executive Director
Responding to COVID-19
Global trade experienced unprecedented turmoil in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Exports of developing countries dropped by 7%, with exports of least developed countries dropping by 9%. In this volatile context, to support firms to navigate the rapidly shifting market conditions and government policies, the project responded with the development of a COVID-19 temporary measures tracker. This tracker shows latest updates on market access conditions enacted by government authorities in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, the EU has also endorsed additional free access to the online Market Analysis Tools for all users in the EU. With the upgraded free access to market information, EU companies can now search for new suppliers in developing countries from the Company contact module of Trade Map and retrieve the latest monthly trade statistics of 190 other countries and territories with a few clicks.