Formed in 1964, the International Trade Centre (ITC) has been the focal point within the United Nations system for trade related technical assistance (TRTA). In line with the joint mandate from the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United Nations (UN), ITC supports its parent organizations’ regulatory, research and policy strategies, focusing on implementing and delivering practical TRTA projects.
One of the key challenges for the business sector is the scarcity of reliable trade information on markets. Exporters need to stay on top of competitive conditions in their current markets, scan opportunities for new markets, and look for opportunities to diversify or value-add to their existing product range. At the same time importers worldwide also seek to optimize the potential offered by preferential trade agreements and improve the efficiency of their sourcing by scanning for new and competitive supplier countries. ITC addresses these issues through its suite of Market Analysis Tools and related market data and information sources. ITC has developed a set of online tools — Trade Map, Market Access Map, Investment Map, Trade Competitiveness Map and Standards Map — that collectively help improve international-trade transparency and enable companies and Trade Support Institutions (TSI) to identify export/import opportunities and compare market-access requirements (e.g. tariffs, official market regulations and other non-tariff measures, and private voluntary standards such as organic certification, Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance, Global Gap or others). The tools also help trade policymakers monitor national trade and investment performances and prepare for trade negotiations.
Since January 2008, all users from least developed and developing countries and territories may access the ITC’s Tools free of charge. Free user-support material, including video trainings and user guides, is also available online on ITC’s e-learning platform.
TRADE MAP is an interactive online database on international trade statistics. It presents indicators on export performance, international demand, alternative markets and the role of competitors from both the product and country perspective.
Trade Map covers the annual trade flows (mirror and direct) of over 220 countries and territories and 5,300 products defined at the 2, 4 or 6-digit level of the Harmonized System with different trade indicators (indices, values, quantities, trends, market share, unit values and market concentration) and time series since 2001 displayed in graphic, map or tabular format. Trade values can be assessed in 16 different currencies.
The strength of Trade Map lies in its constant update of monthly and quarterly data for around 100 countries from both developed and developing countries that cannot be found in other tools, as ITC collects this directly from national authorities. Moreover, users have the possibility of visualization of data with tables, graphs and maps that are simple to interpret and easy to download.
As of September 2012, company data for more than 60 countries is also available in Trade Map to improve the ability of companies to identify trading partners across the world. Company data contains information on the company name, contact details and traded products.
MARKET ACCESS MAP is an interactive analytical web tool presenting a comprehensive perspective on the different types of barriers that affect international trade.
The tool provides information on applied customs tariffs, including MFN tariffs and preferences granted unilaterally and in the framework of regional and bilateral trade agreements. Users can find ad valorem equivalents (AVEs) for non-ad valorem duties in order to compare tariffs across countries, perform product aggregations at a sectorial or regional level and simulate tariff reduction scenarios. The online database also covers tariff rate quotas, trade remedies, rules of origin as well as the corresponding certificates, bound tariffs of WTO members, non-tariff measures (NTMs) and trade flows to help users prioritize and analyse export markets as well as prepare for market access negotiations. Click here, for more info.
INVESTMENT MAP is a unique web-based analysis tool that combines under a single nomenclature statistics on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and information on foreign affiliates with data on international trade and market access conditions. The tool allows analyses by country of origin/destination and by sector of destination.
The portal aims to assist investment promotion agencies (IPAs) in pinpointing the sectors that have successfully attracted FDI in a country as a guide to identifying priority sectors for promotion. It also helps identify competitor and investor countries in specific economic sectors. Furthermore, information on foreign affiliates can be used by IPAs and domestic enterprises to supply transnational corporations as a stepping stone to accessing international markets and wider export activities.
The strength of Investment Map lies in the historical series of investment data at the sector level as well as in the harmonization of FDI flow and stock information, trade and tariff data and activities of foreign affiliates. Moreover, Investment Map is also linked to other tools such as the World Investment Directory, Market Access Map and Trade Map. Click here, for more info and a free access to the FDI sector and country breakdowns.
STANDARDS MAP is an interactive online database which presents comprehensive and comparable information on around 100 voluntary sustainability standards, private standards, sustainability schemes and retailer codes of conduct, with the aim to strengthen the capacity of producers, exporters and buyers to participate in more sustainable production and trade.
The strength of Standards Map lies in its impartiality and the quality of its data which is verified by independent experts and standard initiatives and the extent of the information provided, with over 700 criteria analysed for each initiative. Standards Map is the only web platform providing information at such high level of detail. Standards Map does not make value judgments or rate standards. Click here, for more info.