A trade point is a trade facilitation centre where all participants in foreign trade (including customs, foreign trade institutes, chambers of commerce, freight forwarders, transport companies, banks, insurance companies) are grouped together within a single physical or electronic location. Such a centre is a source of trade-related information which provides actual and potential traders with data about business and market opportunities, potential clients, trade regulations and requirements. It is also a gateway to global networking through the interconnection of all trade points in a worldwide electronic network, equipped with efficient communication tools to link with other global networks.
The main objective of a network of trade points is to incite more actors, particularly small- and medium-sized enterprises, to embark in international commerce. At a trade point, market opportunities are targeted, government formalities are cleared, and business transactions are carried out. Such "one stop shopping" lowers the transaction costs of importing and exporting. It also reduces the procedural and psychological barriers to trade, thus encouraging new entrants into the trade arena.