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    ITC aims to create new, as well as enhance existing, information services offered by Trade Support Institutions (TSIs). We help them to manage and deliver efficient trade information services leading to the improved competitiveness of SMEs on international markets.

    ITC's Trade Information Services (TIS) team partners with Trade Support Institutions by providing technical advice, training programs, market information resources and web-based solutions for effective trade intelligence gathering and dissemination.


    Please expand this section to access links to online resources related to offering trade information services.
    • Operating a trade information service 
    • Guidelines for the operation of WTO reference centres 
    • Selling business information and related services 
    • Market information service checklist 
    • Performance measurement for trade information services 
    • Annual trade information training programme (ed. 2010) 
    • Online market research (ed. 2010)  

    Data and Research

    ITC’s Library supports the organisation’s information needs and activities and assists partner institutions in developing and transition economies in the selection of relevant trade information sources. Trade Support Institutions can also benefit from the intelligence provided by ITC’s Market News Service (MNS). 
     This Service has evolved in the past three years into a comprehensive service providing not only quantitative price information but focusing on qualitative information on 11 sectors.

    The objectives is to provide TSIs in developing countries with pragmatic, usable trade intelligence on products of strategic importance to their export development. MNS reports are distributed to 3,800 users in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean alone. Dissemination agreements are possible upon request. Please contact: mns@intracen.org 

    Advisory Services

    We provide a variety of advisory services to TSIs in order to enable them to improve their information services provision. Such as:
    • Formulation of operational plans to set up trade information services within TSIs
    • Diagnosis of TSIs trade information needs, and assessment of existing information service capacities to meet such needs
    • Development of technical and operational infrastructures for TSIs, including website  and trade information design and production
    • Implementation of effective information processing, management, monitoring and delivery processes
    • Selection and acquisition of relevant trade intelligence material


    TSIs can participate in training programmes lasting between two to ten days. Training programmes vary from providing an overview of general information management challenges to specific courses covering, for example, the information management needs of Foreign Trade Representatives. Here is a list:
    • Trade Information Training Programme (10 days training - Geneva/London) 
    • Training on “How to prepare market profiles” (3 to 4 days) 
    • Training programme on “How to Prepare Market Pointers and Market Opportunity Reports” (3 to 4 days training + 4 to 6 days coaching) 
    • Trade Information Management for Foreign Trade Representatives (3 days training) 
    • Introduction to Trade Information Management for TSIs (2 days training)  


    Here you will find examples of our current and recent information services projects, such as our work relating to our Programme for Building African Capacity for Trade (PACT II)

    1/PACT II, Regional Trade Information Networks, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)

    The project aims to strengthen regional trade information networking in the leather sector by supporting business information exchange at national and regional levels, improving access to, and use of, international market information sources (and promoting regional products and services). It will also assess the feasibility of COMESA re-establishing the Trade Information Network (TINET).  

    2/Trade Information Training Programme

    Recent example: 22 November to 3 December, 2010; Geneva, Switzerland & London, United Kingdom. 

    This training programme has been running for more than 15 years. Its objective is to provide training on trade information management to officers of business information services in trade promotion organizations, chambers of commerce, business associations and other organizations involved in searching, processing or disseminating trade information.

    The topics covered in the course include a number of information management and information resource themes, including:

    • Analysing information needs and services
    • Web 2.0 in trade information management
    • Effective information search techniques
    • Operating information services
    • Disseminating trade information
    • Monitoring and assessing information services
    • Identifying relevant information sources
    • Trade contacts
    • Market news, trends and reports
    • Market access and trade regulations
    • Trade statistics
    • Prices