SMEs are growth incubators which spur global trade
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are incubators of change, growth and jobs, nurturing innovation in the world of trade. To support the internationalization of SMEs, the International Trade Centre (ITC) provides technical assistance to enable them to become more competitive and export-oriented, said the Executive Director Arancha González.
‘Our focus is on building sustainable capacity ‘in-SME’ and ‘in-country’ and ensuring that capacity remains there on the ground,’ said Ms González in her Foreword in ITC’s Annual Report 2013. ‘ Trade support institutions are our multipliers across the globe and they help to make this happen. We are working with businesses in developed countries and emerging economies to either provide solutions to their needs or connect their expertise to SMEs in developing countries. This is an area where we see great potential for growth by linking SMEs, trade promotion organizations and trade support institutions across markets around areas of shared interest such as trade facilitation, quality standards and market intelligence.’
The Executive Director said ITC aims to improve efficiencies, cut down on transaction costs and increasing the scope for partnering with emerging economies and the private sector. She stated that ITC has made progress in developing e-platforms and solutions for developing country traders, and will be designing a suite of e-learning solutions which SMEs, trade promotion organizations and policy makers can use to upgrade their knowledge base. Ms González said ITC is building on its mandate and comparative advantage in the United Nations family to ensure that attention is given to better integrating an economic, business and trade component in the Millennium Development Goals and Sustainable Development Goals discourse.
‘ITC is developing a number of systemic and programmatic tools to better measure the impact of our work and the cost of our activities to get better at assessing country needs and identify where we are market leaders and where we can do better. Only by remaining ahead of the curve and providing cutting-edge solutions can ITC truly deliver on its mandate and respond in an innovative and forward-looking manner to the demands that the fast-moving world of trade and development requires,’ said Ms González.