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‘Going Green’ helps to prepare for future shocks- ITC

BY: Graphic Business
Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director of ITC
Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director of ITC

A research by the International Trade Centre (ITC) has shown that it is necessary now more than ever, for businesses to reinforce their ability to cope with future shocks especially the growing climate crisis.

It said by ‘going green’ companies can improve their resilience and be more competitive.

In a release issued by the ITC on Wednesday, May 5, 2022, it said businesses can better manage risks brought by climate change while taking advantage of green economic opportunities, at home and through cross-border trade.

“Our data shows that resilient firms were five times less likely to lay off workers and more likely to have stable sales,” it said.


Climate competitiveness

The Executive Director of ITC, Pamela Coke-Hamilton, said one of ITC’s strategic priorities aims to improve the climate competitiveness of micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs) in developing countries.

She said by doing so, ITC will equip MSMEs to better respond to risks and ensure that trade contributes to creating inclusive, sustainable and prosperous economies.

“However, companies, especially MSMEs, need partners in this transition. Key among these are trade promotion organisations. Through the daily work they do with businesses, trade promotion organisations can empower a green recovery,” she said.

She called on trade promotion bodies to embrace sustainability adding that “they can develop their expertise to help SMEs to transition to a low-carbon economy and work in partnership with government and businesses to encourage green growth initiatives.”

“They should also advocate on behalf of small firms in green trade; they can build local support ecosystems; facilitate SME finance by being a trusted intermediary; and use training and innovation to strengthen the capacity of SMEs to go green,” Ms Coke-Hamilton said.

Such efforts, she said were crucial for SMEs, which account for more than 50 per cent of jobs and greenhouse gas emissions.


WTPO conference

The release said such experiences will be on the agenda at the 13th World Trade Promotion Organisations Conference scheduled from May 17-18, 2022 in Accra, under the theme, “Bold Solutions for Resilience and Recovery”.

Hosted by the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) and ITC, the discussions will reflect on how sustainability is both a survival imperative and a business opportunity.

“We will also explore how to scale up initiatives that national trade bodies are already carrying out around sustainable solutions for adaptation and growth and provide awards to initiatives that are sustainable, digital and partnership-based during the event.

“By working together to promote the green transition and sustainable trade, trade promotion bodies, businesses and governments can ensure that companies are resilient enough to cope with future shocks,” it said.