On 21 November, EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy welcomed the launch of a Sustainable Trade and Innovation Centre (STIC), intended to help developing countries to export sustainable products.
The Sustainable Trade and Innovation Centre (STIC) will act as a platform bringing together stakeholders from North and South to create a more co-operative context for sustainable trade and innovation. One of STICs’ first pilot projects will help potential exporters to target niche markets by bringing together buyers, vendors and users of work-wear such as uniforms – sustainably produced in developing countries with strong textiles capacity.
The project has been developed with the support of the European Commission (Directorate General for Trade), by the Commonwealth Science Council, the Royal Tropical Institute of the Netherlands and European Partners for the Environment. STIC was presented at the Johannesburg Summit as a Type 2 initiative by the Commonwealth Science Council (CSC) and European Partners for the Environment (EPE). It should contribute to the implementation of the 10-Year Framework of Programmes to accelerate the shift towards sustainable production and consumption patterns decided at the World Summit on Sustainable Development.
Speaking at the launch of the project, Trade Commissioner Lamy said: "This is a clear deliverable on the commitments adopted in Johannesburg in August. Initiatives such as Sustainable Trade and Innovation Centres, bringing together private and public partners, are key to encourage trade in sustainable products, including fair trade, ethical trade and organic trade."
In November 1999, The Commission adopted a Communication on "fair trade". Fair trade is an example of development occurring through trading relationships and improved commercial opportunities to bridge the gap between developed and developing countries and to facilitate the better integration of developing countries in the world economy.