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  • What and why?


    The International Trade Centre’s (ITC) Export Strategy Map compiles in a single database strategy papers that have a significant trade and development component in different countries and sectors, and which have been or are being implemented in ITC’s priority countries. The strategy papers, or documents, are classified according to several different criteria and it is possible to group them according to specific filters. This is the first time that a systematized effort to bring together these kinds of documents has taken place.

    The Export Strategy Map includes strategy papers published as early as 1993. Most papers contained on the site, however, have been approved between 2001 and 2012. Most of the information has been obtained from official sources, including the websites of national governments and their relevant ministries, as well as international organizations.

    ITC’s National Export Strategy (NES) programmes, the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) and Diagnostic Trade Integration Studies (DTIS) together account for about half of the documents contained in the Export Strategy Map. The remaining documents are largely national strategies initiated and implemented by local authorities and, in some cases, with the assistance of international institutions.


    The Export Strategy Map provides an exhaustive inventory of documents that have a significant development and trade-strategic component, and is a first step to shedding light on the myriad of initiatives, strategies and efforts that seek to promote or mainstream trade within national development frameworks.

    Despite the similarities between documents such as ITC’s NES programmes, UNDAF, PRSPs and DTIS, these initiatives are based on different methodologies and are not equivalent, and as such can lead to confusion among export strategy clients and donors

    Beneficiary countries in particular need a better understanding of the relative value of the different export strategy products and methodologies available. Providing this information on the Export Strategy Map helps them to make better-informed decisions as to the kind of strategy that is best suited to the needs of each different country.

    To donors and technical assistance agencies, the Export Strategy Map serves as the reference resource for countries’ strategies, enabling them to make informed decisions when designing technical assistance to these countries.

    The Export Strategy Map is also a useful tool for research, providing a clearer view for international institutions and scholars of what has happened in different countries in order to inform the policy dialogue around export strategies. Users are enabled to more easily compare and draw analytical insights on export strategy and economic development.

    While the Export Strategy Map facilitates the comparison of the different export strategies, it is in principle not intended for benchmarking or ranking purposes.

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