UNCTAD assists host countries that make a request for the development of national programmes for TNC-SME linkages. To achieve this, UNCTAD works with local development agencies and business service providers, foreign affiliates of TNCs, partner ministries and other stakeholders. To date, seven country programmes are being implemented in Argentina, Benin, Brazil, Mozambique, Peru, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Furthermore, EMPRETEC centres that run UNCTAD’s entrepreneurship development programme, started in 1988 and operating in 39 countries, are now increasingly incorporating business linkages in their services portfolio.
It is normal practice for the business linkages team to work closely with the purchasing companies, in conjunction with private sector organizations (trade associations, industry federations, etc). Only those companies that meet the requirements or demonstrate a willingness to develop are selected to participate in the linkage programme. A careful selection of potential suppliers is essential to gaining the confidence and participation
of the large purchasing companies.