Countries / Territories

Awareness and Private Sector Support

  • ITC's sectors

    ITC’s Trade Facilitation Programme focuses mainly in supporting the private sector to fully profit from the TFA and increase its participation in the TF reform dialogue, with the aim of enhancing the business environment.

    One of the main components of the private sector support is the creation of awareness of private sector on TFA provisions and implications in order to lay the foundation for constructive national dialogue.

    ITC assists countries in the publication of trade related regulations and procedures in a step-by-step “National Trade Procedures Guide” as well as in making selected key information and forms available on-line through a dedicated portal. ITC also provides support to set-up and operationalize trade facilitation enquiry points. These interventions are complemented by capacity building support. Initiatives take place in beneficiary countries reaching SMEs in capitals and at-borders-posts, including women owned enterprises and entrepreneurs in different sector of the economy.

    You can access in the following link two samples of presentations delivered in the framework of the ITC TF programme:

    Strengthen SMEs Ability to cross borders

    Strengthening SME ability to cross borders: ITC contributes to enhance private sector ability to comply with cross-border operations requirements through dedicated trainings and workshops. It provides support to help informal cross-border trader, and notably women, to shift to the formal sector. Finally, ITC supports SMEs’ integration into regional and global value chain by connecting them further with logistic services providers across the whole supply chain.
    It is expected that with ITC’s interventions SMEs in beneficiary countries will reduce the time and resources invested in managing export administrative activities, hence reducing transaction costs and increasing competitiveness of enterprises.

    Trade Facilitation, Gender and the Informal Economy Programme

    The ITC has developed a diagnostic and capacity-building programme for designing and implementing measures reflecting a gender-sensitive approach at national and regional level. This complements ITC’s successful Women in Trade Programme, which seeks to integrate SMEs owned by women into global supply chains.


    SMEs ability





    Strengthening SME ability to cross borders

    • Technical materials on compliance with trade procedures are published
    • Training sessions on trade procedures dedicated to private sector are organized
    • Workshops on recurring operational bottlenecks involving trade agencies officials and cross-border traders are organized
    • TSI capacities to support private sector in managing cross-border operation are enhanced
    • Promotion of (women) Informal Cross-border traders for graduating to formal economy is reinforced
    • Registered (women) traders’ Associations and (women) trader’s networks are strengthened
    • Services Hubs at land-borders to support traders managing customs operations are established
    • Protocols connecting SMEs with logistics services providers are established, transaction costs are reduced and further SMEs’ integration into Value Chains facilitated
    • Time required to process a cross-border transaction is reduced

    Intervention examples

    Unlocking the potential of Informal Women Traders In East Africa

    The magnitude of informal trade is a concern to many in sub-Saharan Africa not only because of lost revenue, but also in terms of border security and the welfare of those living in communities in border areas. It is estimated that 70 per cent of informal cross-border trade in sub-Saharan Africa is undertaken by women and youths.

    Thanks to an ongoing ITC pilot project in the East African Community (EAC), some 8,000 women traders are being given the chance to move from the informal to the formal sector, increasing their earnings and personal safety.

    The magnitude of informal trade is a concern to many governments in sub-Saharan Africa, not only due to lost revenue, but also in terms of border security and the welfare of communities living in border areas. Women play a key role in informal trade. It is estimated that 70% of informal cross-border trade in sub-Saharan Africa is undertaken by women and youths.

    As a result of this ITC pilot project:

    • 340 informal women traders have been trained on official border formalities directly
    • 8,000 traders have joined self-help groups, and are provided with assistance in complying with formalities at various border crossings
    • Export times and costs have been reduced thanks to a fast-track clearance system.

    Kyrgyzstan: overcoming non-tariff barriers through trade facilitation

    Trade facilitation is one of the three pillars of Kyrgyzstan’s National Export Strategy (NES), which was developed in collaboration with ITC. The consultative and inclusive public-private dialogue used for the development of the NES has already contributed to the following:

    • The number of license documents required during export or import operations has been more than halved from 236 to 101. 
    • A single-window mechanism was established to simplify and optimize foreign- trade procedures through an easily accessible online platform. 
    • The waiving of visa requirements for 44 countries for stays of up to 60 days to increase revenue from tourism.

    Fiji: training vendors and health inspectors to improve export services in agriculture

    Developing economies tend to be heavily reliant on agriculture exports and are therefore susceptible to changes in regulations and standards in export markets. ITC is training market vendors and national inspectors to promote awareness about hygiene and food-safety requirements. This will build Fiji’s capacity to implement Food Safety Systems and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) compliance measures, ultimately linking to increased exports.

    As a result of this ITC project:

    • Training participants are expected to receive HACCP certification by the middle of 2014.
    • Local stakeholders have set up an informal food-safety and HACCP task force to build collaboration among food safety-related projects in Fiji.


  • Trade facilitation business guide

    ITC published a guide on the Bali package.

    TF guide publication
  • TF Online Facility

    TF Online facility