Sustainable production and consumption matter immensely to the people I meet every day as head of the International Trade Centre, which works with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to help them boost growth and job creation by improving their competitiveness and connecting to international markets.
When the International Trade Centre, the agency I head, works with German electronics giant Bosch to help Kenyan food processing companies boost their productivity and export competitiveness, we may well be creating future customers for Bosch washing machines.
In my job, as head of the International Trade Centre, I have the privilege to meet entrepreneurs from across the world almost on a daily basis.
It has been proven through studies by the World Bank and others that companies participating in international trade are more competitive.
Through trade reforms, Latin American countries can boost their competitiveness in markets for goods and services.
Connecting small and medium-sized businesses to international markets can create work for host country nationals alongside refugees, building economic growth and resilience in host communities.
What exactly is trade facilitation? In a nutshell, it is an effort to enable global trade by reducing red tape and streamline customs. In even simpler words: making it easier for companies to trade across borders.
In the ten years leading up to 2013, quinoa prices nearly tripled on the back of skyrocketing international demand for the latest 'superfood'. The grain had traditionally been cultivated in the high Andean plateau, principally for household consumption. But as prices rose, farmers' incentive to sell it as a cash crop grew.
ITC works to help firms in poor countries become more competitive and overcome the barriers that are keeping their goods and services out of international markets.
Responsive governments committed to improving the broader trade facilitation and business environment can help companies of all sizes by improving infrastructure: roads, transportation, ports, information and communication technology, and electricity.
Predictably, open markets made it possible for countries to drive rapid growth by hitching their wagon to the world economy and using global demand to pull people and resources out of subsistence activities into more productive work.
Inward-looking unilateral trade policies invite retaliation.
The big part of coffee production in many rural areas is in the hands of women. It's women who work in the fields. They harvest the coffee. They wash the coffee. They take the coffee to the market. But when the coffee gets to the market, it's the man who cashes in the money for the crop.
African pressure has led the E.U. to rethink part of its agricultural subsidy programme.
I have seen African countries negotiate bilaterally and within the WTO. African countries come to the WTO prepared and defend their interests with vigour.
Women are the most underutilized 'resource' in the world economy.