Côte d’Ivoire, Canada, Germany and India win the UPU’s TradePost Awards

The Universal Postal Union (UPU) launched the first TradePost Awards during its inaugural TradePost Forum held in Geneva, Switzerland. Côte d’Ivoire, Canada and Germany were announced as the winners in the three official categories, and India received an award in a special category dedicated to trade initiatives promoting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on gender equality and climate action.

This first UPU TradePost Forum was held in Geneva during the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) eWeek. The Forum brought together experts from international organizations, UPU member countries, UN partners, and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). They explored key issues regarding trade inclusion, offering insights on the postal sector’s role in providing access to e-commerce and trade networks for MSMEs, women, and underserved communities. The forum also saw the launch of the UPU's first TradePost Awards, with four winners announced.

Submissions were invited for three categories: “government initiative for trade inclusion through the post”; “postal operator initiative for trade inclusion”; and “private sector initiative for trade inclusion”. A further, special category was dedicated to trade initiatives that promote the SDGs of gender equality and climate action. 

This year, 37 nominations were received from 24 UPU member countries across all UPU regions. The submissions were thoroughly evaluated by World Trade Organization (WTO), UNCTAD and UPU experts in trade, sustainable development, inclusion, small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) communities, and the postal sector before the final decision was reached.

The jury members were: 
  • Mr Masahiko Metoki, Director General of the UPU International Bureau (jury Chair);
  • Mr Isaac Gnamba-Yao, Chair of the UPU Council of Administration; 
  • Mr Jean-Paul Forceville, Chair of the UPU Postal Operations Council;
  • Mr Walter Trezek, Chair of the UPU Consultative Committee; 
  • Mr Torbjörn Fredriksson, Head of E-Commerce and Digital Economy Branch, UNCTAD;
  • Ms Anoush der Boghossian, Head of Trade and Gender Unit, WTO.
“I thank all the TradePost Awards nominees for their incredible range of projects. The high calibre of the nominations received is a testament to the value the postal sector brings to trade inclusion, especially for underserved communities” said UPU Director General, Masahiko Metoki. 

In the first category, Côte d’Ivoire was recognized for its social inclusion initiative promoting crafts. Its project ensures that rural Ivorian artisans have equal access to e-commerce activities, logistics and payment services provided by La Poste Côte d’Ivoire. The operator created a one-stop-shop project to facilitate craft sales through post offices and its e-commerce platform. It has expanded opportunities for Ivorian artisans to sell their products across regions.

Canada won the second category: Canada Post created the Tales of Triumph contest at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 to showcase the resilience of Canadian small businesses and celebrate their unique stories and triumphs. Five exemplary small businesses each earn a prize worth over 100,000 CAD to support their next chapters. Currently in its fourth year, the contest is a full-year programme supporting small businesses, publicizing their contributions to their communities and celebrating their achievements at every size and scale.

In the third category, Germany’s DHL Group was awarded for its Go Trade initiative, which promotes inclusive, sustainable economic growth in the least developed countries through trade facilitation initiatives and SME capacity development projects. Trade facilitation initiatives include reducing delays at borders, and solutions that lessen cross-border trade-related costs, and giving SMEs the necessary capacity to upskill and provide capabilities to engage in cross-border commerce.

In the special category, through which the jury wished to provide recognition for gender inclusion, India was recognized for its post office export centres, known as Dak Ghar Niryat Kendras. In collaboration with the Indian Customs and partnering agencies, they support the needs of MSMEs, self-help groups, and women entrepreneurs with commercial exports through India Post’s vast network. Backed by an online platform, the physical and digital infrastructure has simplified export processes for many, including 3,000 MSMEs, among them 300 female entrepreneurs. Up to September 2023, more than 200,000 shipments worth 5 million USD had been exported through these centres.

Acknowledging efforts and best practices for sustainable trade inclusion initiatives and the growth of MSMEs in the postal sector, the UPU annually organizes its TradePost Awards for project initiatives submitted by member countries, designated operators, and private-sector Consultative Committee members.

Event photos are available here.
Watch the winners' videos: Canada Post and India Post.