The International Trade Centre (ITC) on Thursday, 25 October 2018 announced the Nigerian Export Promotion Council among three national trade and investment promotion organisations as winners of the 2018 World Trade Promotion Organisation Awards in Paris, France.
The Executive Director of ITC Ms Arancha González, made the announcement during the Gala evening and WTPO 2018 Awards presentation ceremony.
She stated that the participating Trade Promotion Organisations which responded to ITC’s invitation to compete for the awards went through a two-step rigorous assessment process, which was completely independent of ITC.
It is the first time NEPC would receive a World Trade Promotion Organisations award.
Receiving the award on behalf of NEPC, Mr Olusegun Awolowo the Executive Director/CEO of NEPC said he was humbled by the accomplishment.
NEPC won the award for the Best initiative to ensure that trade is inclusive and sustainable. The nominated countries in the ‘Best initiative to ensure that trade is inclusive and sustainable category’ were Mauritius, Mongolia, Nigeria and Peru.
The World Trade Promotion Organisations Conference jointly hosted by the ITC and Business France is holding from 25 – 26 October 2018 and has over 80 Trade Promotion Organisations in attendance. This year’s theme is Trade and Investment Ecosystems Delivering for Growth.
NEPC entered the competition with its Zero to Export initiative, an initiative which trains exporters on the export process, provides advice on products and markets, and enhances their marketing and management skills.
The initiative which trained 560 individuals and companies has achieved remarkable results which include €22 million in potential sales to the European market where Nigerian companies had not previously been successful.
New products exported by SMEs with value of more that $30M, 10 new partnership alliances by SMEs while partnerships with three financial institutions on the project raised $1.3 million of working capital for the exporters.
New exports valued at $30 million per year which included ginger, cashew kernels, cocoa products, hibiscus, sesame seeds, columbite for use in alloys, monalite for use in engineering and zircon were also developed
Mr Awolowo who received the Award in the company of the Nigerian Ambassador to France, Her Excellency Dr Modupe Irele and the Chief Executive of Business France, Mr Christophe Lecourtier, thanked ITC for all the support to NEPC and all other TPOs and also commended the Netherlands CBI for its partnership on the ‘Zero to Export’ initiative. Finally, he thanked the NEPC team for their contribution.
Other WTPO 2018 Award winning countries are Ghana, for the Best use of Information Technology and Qatar Development Bank for the Best use of a Partnership. While Egypt, Mongolia, Switzerland and South Korea received Awards of Recognition.
Ms González congratulated the winners for their outstanding initiatives and also commended all participants for their dynamic entries. She disclosed the 11 organisations nominated for this year’s awards as Austria, Egypt, Ghana, Mauritius, Mongolia, Nigeria, State of Palestine, Peru, Qatar, Republic of Korea and Switzerland.
The WTPO Awards is open to all national trade promotion organizations (TPOs). It is designed to recognise and celebrate TPOs that excel in innovative and effective practices in export-development initiatives.
According to ITC, the winning organizations have to show that they helped micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to become competitive in international markets. This year, the Awards jury included senior TPO representatives from the 2016 award winners.
The TPO Network World Conference is a biennial event, first held in 1996 in Cartagena, Colombia. The 12th conference brought together more than 200 TPO representatives, policymakers and business leaders from 86 economies.