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are an important tool of commercial diplomacy.
Commercial diplomats—government officials and representatives
of businesses, industry associations and non-governmental
organizations—are routinely called on to inform and persuade others
concerning highly complex issues. Good writing skills are essential to
success in both of these endeavors. Whether engaged in the informal,
initial stages of exploring how to tackle a new trade issue, or the
formal negotiation phase of hammering out a consensus agreement, a
commercial diplomat needs to be able to clearly and persuasively
articulate the country’s and/or organization’s ideas and positions.
The difference between a well or poorly written "non-paper"
can determine whether a new idea or approach to an issue receives fair
consideration within an organization—a private or non-governmental
organization, government agency, or multilateral institution such as the
World Trade Organization. Similarly, the difference between clear or
muddled testimony written for governmental officials can determine
whether a proposed policy is supported or opposed; and the difference
between a well or poorly crafted newspaper opinion article can determine
whether the article will have an impact on public debate.
While there are only three basic functions of commercial diplomacy documents (to inform, persuade or instruct), a number of different document types are used to perform these functions. Commonly used documents include: Policy papers, Memos, Briefing papers, Press releases, Public testimony, Op-ed articles, Instruction cables, Meeting summaries, Advocacy letters. A sample of such documents is found in the Sample Documents section of the website. The model documents are organized by type of document, and appropriate samples of documents that have been used in professional practice can be found by browsing through the appropriate categories of documents. The sample documents database also contains a search engine, which makes it possible to identify sample documents by subject matter. You can access the sample documents by going to the sample documents page, or by clicking on the following hyperlink: Sample Documents.
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