Frequently Asked Questions
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The Trade Strategy Map (TSM) is a repository of strategic policy documents dealing with trade and development issues from around the world. In an increasingly complex policy landscape, the TSM tool allows policymakers, trade practitioners, donors and technical assistance agencies to retrieve strategic policy documents from more than 150 countries.
The TSM grants users access to hundreds of strategic documents. In addition, the TSM allows users to find documents by region, sector, country, thematic focus (i.e., gender, regional integration, trade finance and youth), or by document design. The database also distinguishes between documents that are primarily country-owned, those that were created through a participatory design process and strategic policy documents that include a Plan of Action.
The TSM was developed by the International Trade Centre (ITC).
The TSM database available free of charge to help policymakers, analysts and researchers better navigate the complexity resulting from the recent proliferation of trade-related development initiatives. Since 2001, there has been a marked increase in strategic planning. This increase has been widely experienced across all regions, though predominantly in Africa.
The documents included in the TSM meet three conditions, including:
- Trade and economic development focus.
The selected documents deal primarily with trade issues and are created for the purpose of furthering a country’s economic development. Some documents do so explicitly through a thorough analysis of the main difficulties that exporters face and discuss alternate solutions to these. Other documents deal with trade issues indirectly but ultimately, these also seek to further a country’s trade and economic development.
- Strategic policy planning tools.
Documents included in the TSM are used as strategic policy planning tools. In other words, (1) the purpose of these documents it to impact policy; (2) they include either a strategic component, plan of action, or roadmap; (3) and are intended to be implemented during a specified time period. These documents also identify parties in charge of the implementation and their allocated resources, and/or specify clear priorities, goals and objectives. Purely analytical studies that do not purport to impact policy are not included in the database.
- Legitimated instruments of policy.
Included documents are intended for policymaking. As a general rule, initiatives designed, approved and/or endorsed by national authorities are considered “sufficiently legitimised”. Those developed by private actors and international institutions are included when they have had or are likely to have an influence on domestic policy.
In addition, the TSM distinguishes between national and international records.
National documents are those produced under the auspices of national authorities. These include national and sector development plans, visions, agendas, as well as other initiatives designed or endorsed by national authorities.
International documents include Diagnostic Trade Integration Study (DTIS), United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP), ITC’s National Trade Strategy (NTS) and Sector Trade Strategy (STS), and others.
To date, the TSM contains over 1000 documents and is continuously updated.
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The TSM is continuously updated. The Last Updated tag, available on all searches, indicates when the document was last updated.
When a Search is conducted, the information appears on the right of the table.
In a Detailed view of the record, the information appears at the bottom of the screen.
The TSM acts as a repository of documents that focus on trade and development strategies. Amid thousands of initiatives analysed, the TSM database retains over 1000 documents that originate from international organizations and development partners: United Nations Development Assistance Frameworks (UNDAFs), Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs); Diagnostic Trade Integration Studies (DTISs) and ITC-facilitated trade development strategies. The remaining documents are National Development Plans, National Visions, Export and Sector Development Strategies and other documents designed and implemented by national authorities.
Please alert us on a strategy that you believe should be included in the TSM database. To do so, please use the form on the CONTACT US page.
Trade strategies are an integral part of ITC’s mission to foster inclusive and sustainable growth through trade development and enhanced competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
As an important part of this vision, an NTS or NES assists partner countries in formulating comprehensive trade development frameworks that act as both effective policy instruments and action-oriented plans designed to boost trade and investment performance, stimulate growth, and achieve maximum development impact.
NTSs or NESs are also tailored to achieve national objectives such as job creation, economic empowerment of women and the youth, and address developmental dividends like environmental sustainability issues in production processes and trade.
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When a document focuses on the development of a specific economic sector (e.g., coffee, pulses, etc.), the TSM assigns a priority sector to that record. The wording has been left as close as to the original in the document. In addition, the TSM database provides the relevant Standard International Trade Classification (SITC) 2-digit codes for goods and services.
The reason why some records do not specify a sector is because some documents do not clearly focus on one particular sector. Thus, no specific tag can be assigned.
Where possible, the record will indicate a time frame in the database. The lack of consistency across records, however, means that this could reflect the date of publication or the date the strategic policy document came into effect.
The Trade Strategy Map considers that a report expires five years after its publication date. However, in the interest of research, documents remain in the database because this enables cross-country and historical research.
The Search bar allows the user to search records by region, country, sector or type.
Filters allow searching the Document Field by date or country grouping (e.g. LDC, LLDC, SIDS or Post-Conflict). The Thematic Choice option allows a user to specify documents by topic, such as gender, regional integration, trade finance and youth. The Design Process tab allows the user to select the document’s design process, whether the document is primarily country-owned, whether the design process was participatory, or whether the strategic policy paper includes a plan of action.
The TSM database also allows the user to conduct searches by clicking on the map.
The results of a search are displayed graphically in map form, in table form and in chart form.
After you have customized your search, the Export Results button allows you to download the results in Word, PDF or other formats.
If you are having trouble downloading results, please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Clicking on the title link of a record anywhere in the website will bring up the Detailed View for the record. Files can be in PDF or other formats and will be available for download depending on associated access rights. ITC users can download all files. Non-ITC users can download a limited number of files. You may be asked to follow the link to the relevant external site. If you are not able to download a file that you think you should have rights to, please contact us: email@example.com
The Search box on the upper right of the navigation bar allows a natural language (“key word” or Google-style) search of the TSM database, in the associated PDFs, as well as in the brief description within the ESM database.
The results of the natural language/keyword search will appear in map, table or chart form.
The interface of the database is in English. The documents included are in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and to a lesser extent in Russian and Arabic.