1. The International Trade Centre (ITC) is the technical cooperation agency of the UNCTAD and the WTO for operational and enterprise-oriented aspects of international trade development. ITC was created in 1964 through a decision of GATT contracting parties and in 1968 UNCTAD joined GATT as co-sponsor of ITC. Its legal status was formally confirmed by the UN General Assembly in 1974 as a ‘joint subsidiary organ’ of GATT and the UN, the latter acting through UNCTAD. ITC supports developing and transition economies, and particularly their business sector, in their efforts to realize their full potential for developing exports and improving import operations.
2. ITC’s objectives are to facilitate developing country enterprises to benefit fully from the multilateral trading system and to foster international competitiveness within the business community as a whole and the SME sector in particular.
3. The Joint Advisory Group, which meets annually, supervises ITC at the inter-governmental level. This meeting reviews ITC’s technical cooperation programme over the preceding year and makes recommendation for its future work programme. JAG’s report is submitted to the Trade and Development Board (TDB) of UNCTAD and to the WTO General Council. The 47th annual meeting of the Joint Advisory Group on the International Trade Centre (ITC) was held from 6 to 7 May 2013.
4. Mr. Jean-Marie Paugam, the Deputy executive Director has assumed the function of Acting Executive Director of the International Trade Centre (ITC) following the completion of the tenure of earlier Executive Director Ms. Patricia Francis in June, 2013.
India and ITC Relations
5. India has been a supporter of ITC’s efforts over the last decade or so in evolving a niche for itself on fostering the competitiveness of enterprises of developing countries and on building the trade-related capacity and capability of SMEs of developing countries. We have been supportive of the change management process to ensure that ITC retains its action-oriented focus on the business community and the MSME sector with a view to assuring development gains from the international trade architecture. The areas of cooperation with ITC include; include traditional Indian health care, spices sector and wellness and the tourism industry. The Executive Director Ms. Patricia Francis visited India in 2007. India participated in the 47th annual meeting of the Joint Advisory Group of ITC from 6 to 7 May 2013.