Understanding the structure and evolution of international markets is essential for both firms and trade support institutions (TSIs). As outwardly oriented firms scan the world market for opportunities to diversify products and markets, as well as suppliers, they are confronted:
- What is the structure of the world market for a product?
- With which countries does my country currently trade?
- Where are opportunities for market diversification?
- What tariff barriers exist in a specific market?
- Which countries are competing in a specific market and globally?
Trade Support Institutions need to set priorities in terms of trade promotion, sectoral performance, partner countries and trade development strategies to utilize resources effectively. Strategic market research with detailed statistical information on international trade flows helps them gauge the competitiveness of national and sectoral trade performance and identify priority products and markets for trade development by addressing the following types of questions:
- What are priority markets and products for trade promotion?
- What countries supply the majority of my country’s imports?
- What alternative sources of supply are available?
- In what areas does my country have a competitive advantage?
- What is my country’s current trade performance?
- For what products is there potential to increase bilateral trade?
- What are the trade flows between my country and a specific group of countries?
Trade Map was developed by the International Trade Centre UNCTAD/WTO (ITC) to
answer these and related questions with the objectives of facilitating strategic market
research, monitoring both national and product-specific trade performance, revealing
comparative and competitive advantage, identifying the potential for market or product
diversification and designing and prioritizing trade development programmes for both firms
and trade support institutions.
By transforming the large volume of primary trade data into an accessible, user-friendly, and interactive Web-based format, Trade Map provides users with indicators on country or
product performance, demand, alternative markets and the role of competitors. It presents
information in both tables, charts and maps, and allows queries based on product, group of products, country and regional country groupings for exports or imports.