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    ITC’s Business for Trade Policy programme aims to ensure that when governments are developing trade policies, they hear the private sector point of view.  ITC partners with trade support institutions (TSIs) and policy-makers to integrate the business dimension into trade policy development. 


    Developing a national trade policy is a complex process. It requires decisions involving various levels of the government, companies and business associations, consumer organizations, trade unions and other members of civil society. Dozens of legislative initiatives are required to manage the entire process. Business advocacy can influence such negotiations and help to reach “balanced” trade policy decisions. ITC works with the main parties who have a stake in trade policy development to help achieve the best results. This is done through personalized relationships with business, trade support institutions and policy makers in countries.

    The greater the role of the state, the less market oriented the economy and the less business interests are likely to be consulted. The degree of business involvement also depends on the country’s administrative culture and the style of political decision-making. As economies open up and political systems become more pluralistic, business interests will usually have greater incentives and opportunities to express their views. 

    ITC encourages trade support institutions to become actively involved in consultations, and encourages policy-makers to engage in a two-way dialogue. 

    The objective is to improve both the quality of trade policy and to ensure that it is acceptable to stakeholders. Many countries have created a formal structure of general and issue-specific advisory bodies that institutionalize the exchange of information between the business community, other interest groups and the government. In other nations, business and government interactions are ad hoc in nature and may even be limited to a small elite with preferential access. 

    From the business perspective, advocacy objectives in trade policy may be classified under the following headings: shelter, including special privileges and government support; improved competitive position in domestic and export markets; and defence to counterbalance pressure of other interest groups. 

    A full explanation of all of the ways business can influence trade policy can be found here (LINK TO business_advocacy.pdf) 

    Data and Research

    ITC provides regular, up-to-date information on trade negotiations and publications explaining the rules of the international trading system.

     See the following case studies and white papers:

    Advisory Services

    ITC’s advisory services establish and strengthen the mechanisms for public-private dialogue. Business-government dialogue is important because trade policy is not only about gains from trade, it is also about redistribution of income between producers, consumers and government, and about social welfare.
     ITC provides expert meetings on key issues, capacity building and training programmes, and country programmes.

    ITC guides the stakeholders to develop coherence among trade policy and regulatory regimes for export development.


    ITC provides customised training on “Trade Policy for Business Managers” which focuses on commercial perspectives of integrating with the global economy.


    • Business & Trade Policy: Training on `Trade Policy for Business Managers´
    • Support for WTO Accession in LDCs
    • African Regional Integration and EPAs