World Export Development Forum
1.Tell us about the World Export Development Forum and when will this be held and where?
The World Export Development Forum WEDF is an annual flagship event of the International Trade Centre (ITC) aimed at providing a platform through which policymakers, trade & investment support institutions and business leaders meet to discuss pertinent issues necessary for the develop Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and connecting them to international markets. It is held alternately among beneficiary member states of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
The Forum will take place from 11th to 12th September, 2018 at Mulungushi International Conference Centre, here in Lusaka.
2. What events are planned during the Forum?
The Forum is being convened under the theme: scaling up through trade: skill – innovate – connect.
Topics under discussion include:
- Jobs of tomorrow through trade;
- imagine a world with no borders;
- tearing down trade barriers
- Agriculture to agribusiness: reducing risks, increasing returns
- going green: who will finance SMES
There will also be a pitch for young entrepreneurs to showcase their ideas. The Forum will be preceded by the launch of the She Trades Chapter of Zambia and Business to Business meetings. It will also provide an opportunity for the International Trade Center to share results of a survey undertaken on the competitiveness of Small and Medium Enterprises in Zambia.
She Trades is an initiative of the International Trade Center, whose focus is on elevating the role of women in international trade through networking and linkage to markets. The launch of the She Trades chapter for Zambia will take place in the afternoon of 10th September 2018 at the same venue.
- Business to Business meetings provides a platform for business entities to discuss issues of common interest and create partnerships. The business to business meetings will take place from 10th to 11th The Business to Business sessions will bring together those offering and seeking solutions in the following areas:
- Agricultural Technologies,
- Agricultural crops and oil seed processing,
- Packaging and Storage Systems
- There will also be an exhibition running from 10th to 12th September, 2018
A post event is scheduled for 13th September 2018 Partnership for Investment and Growth in Africa (PIGA). (PIGA) is a Project covering four countries, namely Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique and Zambia and jointly funded by the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland’s Department for International Development (DFID), and the Government of the People’s Republic of China (in particular, China-Africa Development Fund and China Council for the Promotion of International Trade). The objective is to assist the beneficiary countries increase jobs, exports and sustainable incomes through investment and greater integration into international value chains in agro-processing and manufacturing.
3. Has such an event been hosted anywhere else in Africa?
Yes, in Rwanda. Zambia will be the second country in Africa to host the forum after Rwanda hosted the 14th edition in 2014.
4. Who will be in attendance and how many people are expected to attend the forum and where are they coming from?
We are expecting high level representation at this Forum including Ministers, heads of UN agencies and prominent policy makers from across the globe. Approximately 600 delegates are expected for this event. So far over 500 have registered.
5. How does one go about registration?
A dedicated website has been created for registration at WWW.INTRACEN.ORG/WEDF.
Alternatively, an email can be sent to WEDF@INTRACEN.ORG.
6. What benefits will holding the Forum in Zambia bring to the Zambians?
The following are among benefits expected from these events:
- opportunity for the business community to network and conclude business contracts;
- elevate Zambia on the international map as an open destination for investment;
- opportunity to showcase Zambia’s tourism industry
- Opportunity for SMEs to learn from others on how to enhance competitiveness
- opportunity to access skills and technical support
- the presence of over 400 foreign dignitaries will support other sectors of the economy such as hotels, fast foods and the transport sector, among others.