Enhancing the international competitiveness of SMEs through innovation (en)
The International Trade Centre (ITC) focuses the delivery of its aid for trade by helping to enhance the international competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This is done by addressing trade barriers, and supporting SMEs to explore new markets and related distribution channels.
ITC provides a suite of technical assistance services and solutions either directly to enterprises or through trade and investment support institutions (TSIs), which act as multipliers in the field. ITC is strongly committed to women’s economic empowerment and youth employment.
Since 2014, all of ITC’s interventions have integrated the gender, youth and sustainability dimensions of trade. The international competitiveness of enterprises is a complex, multi-dimensional concept comprising three sets of factors. First, enterprise competitiveness is determined by factors internal to the enterprise, which includes total factor productivity and the ability to constantly innovate. It involves the capability of an enterprise to maintain and evolve its competitiveness by successfully linking up to markets and value chains and to innovate through new knowledge, skills and technologies.
Secondly, the international competitiveness of enterprises is impacted by the efficiency of the policy and regulatory practices that shape the business environment in which they operate, and the related presence of efficient business service providers.
Thirdly, it is influenced by the ability of TSIs to provide a suite of services which is practical, in line with market need and immediately usable by enterprises.
Learn more about ITC’s work in our publication, ‘One ITC’ Intervention Logic for SME International Competitiveness.