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  • Strengthening TSI cooperation
    Donors, stakeholders and beneficiaries are increasingly concerned about the lack of impact that trade related technical assistance are producing due to the duplication of services by TSIs and other development agencies. To respond to this, TSIs are pooling their resources, skills and knowledge to form networks which together provide a complete and relevant range of service offers. This approach allows TSIs together to reach wider audiences in an effective and efficient manner.


    With the complexity of today’s international business environment, the needs of the business community are too diverse to be met by a single institution. Achieving sustainable export success requires access to a wide variety of trade support services. These services, in turn, require a range of resources and skills that can rarely be met by an individual TSI. The concept of networking has become increasingly important among people and institutions in their efforts to support SMEs. 

    TSIs usually decide to establish linkages for a variety of reasons such as, the joint implementation of trade development programmes, influencing trade policy processes through joint lobbying and advocacy, sharing of resources and skills or the sharing of practices to acquire new knowledge.

    Significant strategic benefits are gained when all parties of a network share business objectives and work together for their achievement. The strength of networks comes through collaboration built on mutually enriching activities and equally important roles.

    ITC provides advisory and training services to TSIs interested in establishing, managing and maintaining networks. These services are structured to address the major issues that determine the impact and sustainability of networks including:

    • The outline of a shared vision through defining the function of the network, clearly set objectives and agreed joint outcomes
    • Establishment of a framework for the collaborative process (governance, decision making and accountability)
    • Establishing roles and procedures for the management and maintenance of the network
    • Ensuring availability of resources

    Communication and marketing strategies to ensure visibility of network activities to the appropriate audiences.

    Advisory Services

    To address and overcome the major challenges of TSIs to establish and strengthen sustainable trade support networks ITC’s advisory services are supported by a methodology and tools which include the following components:
    • Seminars and activities to identify potential networking opportunities and achievable benefits to stimulate and encourage the development of well-focused networks
    • Identification of potential key partners, priority areas/services and joint outcomes to be considered
    • Models of Networking Protocols that define:
      • the roles and responsibilities of all parties,
      • the options for governance structure and coordination mechanisms and
      • the standard procedures for various types and levels of networks.
    • Assistance in the effective design and operations of the TSI network

    Facilitation in the establishment of recording and reporting mechanisms to assess the performance and effectiveness of their efforts.

    The TSI capacity building programme (link to one page TSI capacity building programme) includes one module dedicated to the establishment and management of networks.


    The TSI capacity building programme (link to one page TSI capacity building programme) includes one module dedicated to the establishment and management of networks. 
     This module equips TSIs with the ability to define the networks strategy and governance structure, identify the resources and competencies needed to achieve the networks’ objectives, define roles, evaluate, select and allocate networking partners to develop, market and deliver the networks initiatives to its beneficiaries and measure the impact of its efforts.


    To find out more about ITC’s active projects in this area of work, such as the Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) Conference and Awards and the Enhancement of Arab Capacity for Trade, please expand this section.

    The biennial TPO Network World Conference and Awards is an initiative by TPOs for TPOs which provides a platform for the dynamic exchange of information on current global issues challenging the trade environment, good practices and experiences. The TPO Network has sprung up from this event to provide an ongoing platform for TSIs to benefit from opportunities for collaboration and access to a global body of knowledge. More information can be found at: www.tponetwork.net 

    ITC is providing support to the Enhancement of Arab Capacity for Trade (EnACT) and the Pan African Capacity for Trade (PACT II) programmes to help sustain the results produced by components of these programmes through newly established TSI networks.