United Nations

International Trade Centre UNCTAD/WTO

The International Trade Centre (ITC) was founded in 1964 by the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in order to help developing countries promote foreign trade.

Since 1974, the ITC has, on the basis of a decision of the UN General Assembly, been jointly subordinate to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). This is why the official name of the ITC is the International Trade Centre UNCTAD/WTO.

In its capacity as a financed subsidiary of the WTO and UNCTAD on the one hand and an organisation funded by the voluntary contributions of donor countries on the other, the strategic direction of the ITC and the guidelines governing its work are decided both by the two superordinate organisations and by donors through various decision-making channels. The work of the International Trade Centre focuses on Technical Cooperation with developing countries in the field of trade promotion. While the WTO and UNCTAD cooperate primarily with governments, the main target group of the ITC is the private sector.

The strategic tasks of the ITC include strengthening the international competitiveness of businesses, providing support and advisory services for chambers of commerce and commercial agencies, and advising the political and administrative levels. The ITC is increasingly gearing its work to the imperatives of achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). This takes the form, for instance, of trade programmes geared to direct poverty reduction (partly by involving local communities and small and medium-sized enterprises), promoting entrepreneurship, integrating environmental concerns into trade programmes and promoting sustainable business approaches.

The WTO budget and the UN budget each provide one half of the regular budget of the International Trade Centre, which is about half of its total budget. The percentage of the total budget accounted for by voluntary donor contributions is tending to rise slightly. In 2010 and 2011 Germany's voluntary contribution to the ITC amounted to about two million euros a year.

More information


International Trade Center (ITC)

Palais des Nations
54-56 rue de Montbrillant
1211 Geneva 10
Phone: +41 / 22 / 7 30 01 11
Fax: + 41 / 22 / 7 33 44 39

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