Features

News Brief (en)

2 junio 2017
ITC Noticias
World Export Development Forum 2017

The World Export Development Forum (WEDF), ITC’s flagship event, will be held in Budapest, Hungary, on 25-26 October 2017, hosted by Hungary’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
With a theme focused on ‘Trade – a Force for Good: Include, Innovate, Integrate’, the two-day event will explore how trade can be a driver of inclusive growth and job creation focusing on small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

ITC and the Government of Hungary attach significant importance to the role of SMEs in contributing to trade-led growth and job creation. In Hungary, as in most other economies, SMEs form the backbone of the economy, representing over 90% of all business and contributing to two-thirds of global employment. Enabling more SMEs to connect to international markets will ensure that the gains from trade are more broadly distributed.
The agreement to host WEDF 2017 in Budapest was signed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary Péter Szijjártó and Arancha González, Executive Director of the International Trade Centre, on 28 February 2017.

Trade Facilitation Agreement enters into force

A major milestone for the global trading system was reached on 22 February when World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) entered into force. The TFA seeks to expedite the movement, release and clearance of goods across borders. Its entry into force launches a new phase for trade facilitation reforms all over the world and creates a significant boost for commerce and the multilateral trading system as a whole.

Full implementation of the TFA is forecast to slash WTO members’ trade costs by an average 14.3%, with developing countries having the most to gain, according to a 2015 study carried out by WTO economists. The TFA is also likely to reduce the time needed to import goods by over a day and a half and to export goods by almost two days, representing a reduction of 47% and 91% respectively over the current average.

UN designates 27 June as MSME Day

The United Nations General Assembly on 6 April adopted a resolution recognizing the crucial role Micro-, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) play in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It also designates 27 June 27 ‘Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day’.
Following the International Council for Small Business (ICSB) 2016 World Conference Declaration on the urgent need to recognize MSMEs’ role in global development, the Permanent Mission of Argentina to the United Nations, with support from ICSB, authored the resolution that was presented to and negotiated with all UN member states. The resolution was co-sponsored by 45 member states, representing over 5 billion people.

Since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, all countries have been working for its implementation, aiming to ensure that every actor can contribute in the best possible way. Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises have the potential to make a long-lasting positive impact on global development needs, since they are the engine for economic growth and job creation.

How the sharing economy will transform the electricity industry

A new report released by the World Economic Forum, The Future of Electricity: New Technologies Transforming the Grid Edge, finds that adoption of new grid-edge technologies in countries belonging to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development could bring more than $2.4 trillion of value creation for society and industry over the next 10 years. The additional value would come from new jobs and reduction of carbon emissions derived from increasing the efficiency of the overall system, optimizing capital allocation and creating new services for customers.

Rapidly falling costs of smart meters, connected devices and grid sensors will increase the efficiency of network management and, more importantly, allow customers to have real-time information about energy supply and demand across the system. In the same way that ride provider Uber and travel firm Airbnb have disrupted the transport and hospitality industries, respectively, grid-edge technologies could improve the utilization rate of electricity infrastructure.

Unemployment rises sharply in Latin America, Caribbean, ILO says

The unemployment rate in Latin America and the Caribbean reached 8.1% in 2016, the highest level in a decade, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO). It said in its annual report on the region’s labour market that the increase comes amid an economic contraction that has also affected the quality of employment.
That rate is 1.5 percentage points higher than in 2015, when it stood at 6.6%. This means some 5 million people joined the ranks of the unemployed, a figure that now stands at about 25 million workers according to the ‘2016 Labour Overview of Latin America and the Caribbean’ (‘Panorama Laboral 2016 de América Latina y el Caribe’).

Of particular concern to the ILO is that if forecasts of slow growth for 2017 hold true, unemployment will increase again next year to 8.4%.
The ILO report noted that the increase in unemployment comes as an economic contraction of -0.6% or -0.9% is projected by the International Monetary Fund and the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, respectively, for 2016.

A new tool for measuring the e-commerce environment

Mukhisa Kituyi, the Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development on 25 April unveiled the new eTrade for all platform. The new Etradeforall.org, which was presented during UNCTAD’s eCommerce week, is a new information hub that connects partners, beneficiaries and donors to ensure better and more inclusive e-commerce for developing countries.

The new platform provides easier access for developing countries to access resources that enables them to improve their e-commerce readiness. It also features upcoming news and events, substantive releases (data and research) on e-commerce and the digital economy, and offers increased learning opportunities through the sharing of best practices.