Irwin Grayson Associates
International Trade Centre

The International Trade Centre is a joint initiative of UNCTAD and the World Trade Centre, so effectively part of the United Nations. Its objective is to improve trade and break down trade barriers in developing countries. ITC focuses its work on three areas: (a) improving the ability SMEs to integrate into the world trading system, (b)enhancing the abilities of trade support institutions to support them more effectively, and (c)increasing the ability of the private sector to advocate their priorities to policymakers in an effort to improve trade policy.


  • David Irwin ran an advocacy training course for East Africa Business Council which brought together representatives from busines membership organisations from around the East African Community, 2012
  • He subsequently ran a similar course for representatives of the Palestinian Authority Trade Centre (Paltrade), 2012
  • In 2014, he ran an advocacy training course for the Business Council of Zimbabwe and subsequently supported the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce to develop a policy position paper
  • In 2015, he provided advocacy training to a group of women's business associations
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I write to express gratitude on behalf of WABAZ ... in particular the advocacy training workshop. It equipped us with advocacy skills and helped us identify the main barriers to women's success in business. The top one identified at the workshop was access to finance. Thus equipped, WABAZ commissioned research on the topic, reaching 180 WABAZ business women across the country... Armed with the results, we convened a multi stake holder Call To Action, and we are grateful for your support ...
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Irene Mukarakate, Chairperson, Women's Alliance of Business Associations in Zimbabwe (WABAZ)

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The Advocacy was one good Training which WABAZ has propelled to reach bigger numbers
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Sithabile Mangwengwende, PROWEB Executive Director
  • During 2016, David contributed to ITC's Business Process Analysis work in East Africa through delivering workshops focusing specifically on planning for advocacy projects. Workshops were delivered in Kenya, Ethiopia and Tanzania. It is anticipated that I may now work with ITC to prepare a book summarising the key messages and materials.
  • In 2017, David ran a programme in Oman covering aspects of public private dialoge and advocacy for a mixed audience of public and private sector pulled together by the Oman Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Your speech is valuable & useful for me. It gives the practical information & experience for policy creation and follow-up the policy to our college. I personally thank you for such wonderful workshop gives me. Thank you once again.

Dr. Balamurugan Muthuraman, Assistant Professor,Oman College of Management & Technology
Thank you very much for the useful workshop of the last week.

Ayman Ambusaidi, Bank Muscat
  • At the end of 2018, David went to Bhutan where he met with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Bhutan Chamber of Commerce & Industry to explore how to improve the public private dialogue mechanisms that have already been put in place, and to run a training course on dialogue and advocacy. The Government of Bhutan has set a target to be in the top 50 of the Doing Business league table so it is an exciting time to be supporting their development.


East Africa Business Council is developing a position on trade in services, which is slowly being liberalised as part of the Common Market Protocol adopted by the East African Community. Irwin has been providing mentoring support to trade association staff in Burundi and Rwanda to help them to prepare compelling policy positions which can first influence EABC and secondly influence EAC.

Supporting Chambers in Sri Lanka

In 2017, David was asked to visit three Chambers in Sri Lanka, to assess their competence to enageg in advocacy and dialogue, and to make recommendations for how they could become more effective. In addition, he was asked to run a two day training programme to provide some immediate ideas for tools and techniques to those three Chambers and to others.

David returned in 2019 - and ran a two day training programme in Jaffna for local Chambers in the north and east and another in Galle for Chambers in the south. The training covered chambers' role in local economic development, governance, strategy and business planning.

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On behalf of the Manager Operation Ms.Sudammika, I would like to extend our appreciation for the amazing work done by you. The endless hours that you have been spent working on this project, and the professionalism that you have shown has impressed us. I believe that the workshop went really well. I and my team had a great time during the workshop. It was a fruitful and amazing time for me and my team to network with the other regional chambers. I want to thank you very much for your excellent management of what has turned out to be a successful and highly stimulating workshop.
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Ajith Wasantha Liyanage, Hambantota District Chamber of Commerce, Sri Lanka
David then spent a week in Colombo, revisiting the Chambers from the first mission and additionally running advanced training course in policy, dialogue, advocacy and negotiation for the private sector members of the National Trade Facilitation Committee and for the advisory committees attached to the Export Development Board.

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