Worldwide countries hold resources that can be sustainably explored, but some countries are more successful than others in adding value to own raw resources serving existing markets and penetrating new ones. A key aspect of improving resource utilization and exports or trade is to increase the economy’s level of competitiveness. It involves further development efforts within 12 different areas as defined by the World Economic Forum.

Most of these areas are in the hands of government, such as providing an enabling environnement for business life. It entails among other establishment of political stability and democratic institutions, promulgation of enforceable regulations, providing an institutional set-up for training/education, improve transport infrastructure, and secure reasonable access to finance and credit. Particularly, it is important make export and investment promotion facilities and funding available. The industries themselves, however, do control some important competitiveness factors related to the management practices and operating performance and the level of trade readiness.


BELCO supports governments by improving competitiveness via diagnostic activities, TA and training:

  • Support to regional integration including FTAs, CPAs, EPAs;
  • Trade rules;
  • Market access for agricultural and non-agricultural goods:
  • Preferential schemes and associated Rules of Origin;
  • Identification of and removing Non-Tariff  Barriers to trade (NTB);
  • Trade facilitation and border crossing issues;
  • Transport infrastructure ;
  • Competitiveness analyses by industry/sector;
  • Labour market and fair trade issues;
  • Export and investment promotion facilities;
  • Improving access to finance and credit;
  • Arrange workshops, trade and investment conferences, and participation in industry relevant fairs on other trade events

Exporting industries and individual companies are supported by analyses, TA and training programmes:

  • Trade readiness assessment;
  • Technical standards and norms related to  SPS, TBT and ISO;
  • Good Management Practices, and in particular in the food sector: Good Hygienic Practices
  • For the food industry: solutions to SPS issues
  • How to handle Non-Tariff Barriers to Trade
  • Getting access to finance from banks, credit facilities and dedicated venture capital funds by elaborating bankable investment applications
  • Specific WTO sub-agreements as, AA, NAMA, GATS, TRIPs, S&D, ASCM, and TRIM
  • Creating national level professional associations and improving quality through innovation and branding
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