Strengthening SMEs in the commodities sector in the global value chain (en)
Helping exporters of commodities to develop sustainable businesses in global value chains is an expertise of the International Trade Centre (ITC), according to its Executive Director Arancha González. She said the ITC has assisted farmers in the cotton, coffee and horticultural industries in adding value to their products sold through small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). She was speaking at the opening of the 5th Global Commodities Forum on 7 April 2014 held at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) headquarters in Geneva. The theme was ‘Global value chains, transparency and commodity-based development’.
Ms González said the ITC works with SMEs on trade facilitation by improving services in the commodities sector and enhancing transparency in private voluntary standards.
‘Improved services can reduce transaction costs and enable developing countries to better connect to global value chains,’ said Ms González. ‘We assist by building networks through South-South co-operation and establishing business linkages through technical partnerships and investments.’
She stated that the ITC’s programme on Trade for Sustainable Development is designed to increase transparency and usability of standards. Under this initiative, a web-based platform known as Standards Map, enables businesses to access data on standards to promote compliance. These private standards may require traceability of products, including as components in processed goods; as well as products generated from extractive industries. Adhering to these standards have become critical as consumers become more sensitive to social and environmental issues in the supply of products.