Western and Central Africa
Eastern and Southern Africa
Eastern Europe and Central Asia
TUESDAY, 15 DECEMBER, 13:30-15:00
Ms Arancha González, Executive Director, ITC
H.E. Mr. François Kanimba, Minister of Trade and Industry, Rwanda
Ms Marion Jansen, Chief Economist, ITC
Mr Francisco Estrazulas, ConnectAmericas Project Manager, IDB
Mr Twum-Akwaboah, CEO of Ghana Industry Association
Ms Kanini Mutooni, Director of Investment, USAID's East Africa Trade & Investment Hub
Mr Andrew Mutuma, President of DHL Express in Kenya
Ms Amani Asfour, Chairperson, COMESA Business Council
Ms Sneha Shah, Managing Director, Africa, Thomson Reuters
1330-1340 Welcome and opening remarks, Ms Arancha González, Executive Director, ITC
1340-1350 Keynote Statement, H.E. Mr. François Kanimba, Minister of Trade and Industry, Rwanda
1350-1400 SME Competitiveness Outlook, Ms Marion Jansen, Chief Economist, ITC
1400-1410 ConnectAmericas, Mr Francisco Estrazulas, ConnectAmericas Project Manager, IDB
1410-1500 Panel Q&A
Watch the event here.
The increased integration of developing countries into the global trading system continues to transform the trade landscape. The logic of such integration is that firms can no longer just rely on being competitive in the domestic, or even regional, market to ensure their long-term survival. Rather is through internationalising and being competitive within an international context that Small and Medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can become more sustainable and contribute to growth and job creation. SMEs account for anywhere between 60-90% of global employment, and the majority of new job creation, in most developing countries. However, SMEs suffer from high failure rates and low productivity. Evidence has shown that supporting the sustainability and growth of SMEs is an important policy component of employment, social cohesion and more inclusive growth.
These issues are highlighted in the 2015 ITC “SME Competitiveness Outlook - Connect, Compete, Change for Inclusive Growth”. The report complements macro-level trade development publications with its new SME Competitiveness Grid and based on three competitiveness pillars – to connect, compete and change – the Grid makes it easier to spot the strengths and weaknesses of enterprises. Addressing the productivity gap is crucial for inclusive growth, and in order to increase productivity firms must connect, compete and change.
These recommendations are in line with the tools proposed by ConnectAmericas, a non-profit initiative spearheaded by the IDB in order to support the SMEs of Latin America and the Caribbean. ConnectAmericas offers members access to potential clients, suppliers, partners and investors throughout the region and around the world.
The first seminar in support of the Buenos Aires Declaration on Trade and Women’s Economic Empowerment, which over 120 WTO members and observers endorsed on the margins of the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference, will be held on Friday 16 March 2018 at the WTO in Geneva, Switzerland...
The Hungarian National Trading House (HNTH), in collaboration with the International Trading Centre, has conducted a firm level data collection exercise to assess the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in three key sectors of the country’s economy ...
Businesses and policymakers have strategic choices to make about selecting and investing in standards, a key to international value chains. This session outlined key findings of ITC’s flagship report “SME Competitiveness Outlook 2016: Meeting the Standard for Trade” and showed how businesses and policymakers can address these issues...
As part of the 2015 Trade and Development Symposium taking place in Nairobi, ITC and IDB are organising a joint session to discuss how SMEs can effectively connect to global markets. The increased integration of developing countries into the global trading system continues to transform the trade landscape. The logic of such integration is that firms can no longer just rely on being competitive in the domestic, or even regional, market to ensure their long-term survival. Watch the event here.
ITC presented its new annual flagship publication, the SME Competitiveness Outlook 2015. This year’s theme was: Connect, Compete, and Change for inclusive growth. The report contains rich data for trade and investment institutions, and investors.
In 2015, ITC launched its new Working Papers series. The first set of working papers focus on SME competitiveness, trade and development.
At this ITC policy debate first findings of the forthcoming ITC SME Competitiveness Outlook were presented to the Geneva based policy and trade expert community as part of ITC’s consultation exercise on the forthcoming flagship publication.
In preparation for the launch a new flagship publication on SME Competitiveness, ITC organized a workshop where the authors of the SMEs, Trade and Development Series presented their initial findings. You can find more information including their presentations here.