The Department of International Trade Cooperation (DITC) is established due to collaboration agreement between Norad (Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation) and Virke, The Enterprise Federation of Norway.
The collaboration started in 2003 with an Import Promotion Office, when Norad approached Virke, suggesting a partnership based on Virke’s knowledge within world trade, and Norad’s increased focus on trade development.
During the first years, collaborated Virke, NHO (Confederation of Norwegian Enterprises) and Norad, both in the least developed countries and in some medium-income countries, i.e. through follow-up and studies on Private Sector Development and Business Opportunities for Norwegian Industry and Trade. The collaboration begun to yield excellent results, principally, in the main partner countries Uganda and Vietnam, in the latter finding showed that the textile, garment, shoe and furniture industry should be targeted as most interesting for Norwegian importers.
In 2006, Virke and Norad signed a new and more comprehensive agreement, a 5-year programme running until 2011; to develop private trade and industry, and commercial institutions. The central focusing countries were Vietnam and Uganda. In addition, based on positive experience with women organizations in East Africa, which resulted in a request for further collaboration and support from the organizations AWAN and UWEAL, Virke agreed in 2007 to design and focus on a joint programme to empower women entrepreneurs in order to promote equal rights, create wealth and reduce poverty. A separate agreement was signed between Virke and Norad in 2009.
A new 2-year agreement was signed late 2012 for a continuation of the WED Programme in East Africa in 2013 and 2014.
Virke’s mandate in the main programme with Norad has been to increase import from least developed countries and emerging economies to the Scandinavian market. There are few toll barriers form these countries, however there are considerable market requirements, both legislative and non-legislative which can be challenging.
Together with Norad, and in association with Nordic and local partners, i.e. sister organization, has DITC created different module based training programmes. The programmes are aimed at training top management, to develop their businesses, with CR and Good Governance as cornerstones, create value-added to their products, and to become a preferred partner on the European market. Hence increasing value and volume of their export, leaving the exporting businesses stronger, both financial and operational.