Working group highlights progress in integrating small businesses into international trade

17 June 2022


The achievements of the Informal Working Group on Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) were highlighted in a report launched by the coordinator of the Group, Ambassador José-Luis Cancela, on 12 June in the margins of the WTO’s 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12). The report outlines progress achieved by the Group since it was created in 2017 and sets out the Group’s roadmap for helping more small businesses benefit from international trade.

Ambassador Cancela said the document outlines how far the work of the Group has advanced since its establishment at the 11th Ministerial Conference (MC11) in December 2017. The document further outlines the latest state of play for the Group's activities and its next steps, he said.

The achievements listed by the report include the launch of the Trade4MSMES platform, which provides small companies with information aimed at helping them trade, and the Trade4MSMEs Network, a partnership of international organizations seeking to increase trade opportunities for MSMEs.

The report also outlines a package of six declarations and recommendations to help small businesses trade internationally. Other achievements include the launch of the Digital Small Business Champions, which aims to help small businesses become part of the digital economy, and annual meetings with the private sector in the lead-up to MC12.

“Through these achievements, the Group has showed that the WTO and we — the governments — care about small businesses, about our economies and about our people,” said Ambassador Cancela.

“These achievements and activities illustrate well the spirit in which the Group works, a spirit of soft law and pragmatism and a solution-oriented mode to help MSMEs trade internationally across economies at all levels of development,” the coordinator added.

Looking ahead, Ambassador Cancela said the Group aims to continue its dialogue with the private sector to ensure its work remains relevant for small business, notably on how MSMEs can participate in international trade as a path to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the report, which was circulated to WTO members on the eve of MC12, the coordinator also states the Group's intention to continue to invite other members to join and to continue keeping the WTO membership informed about its work.


Kindly supplied by the WTO


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