Western and Central Africa
Eastern and Southern Africa
Eastern Europe and Central Asia
Promoting SME Competitiveness is not an end in itself but rather a means to "Promote
sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment
and decent work for all" (SDG 8).
Download the SME Competitiveness flyer here.
Strong SMEs are key for economic growth and for inclusive development. Globally, they
make up the vast majority of firms and account for large share of GDP and employment.
Most importantly, they directly tend to employ the most vulnerable segments of the
workforce, including women and young people, and people with little education.
International value chains provide an opportunity for SMEs to internationalize and
scale up their operations. However, only the most competitive SMEs grab the benefits
of globalization, so how can value chains be more inclusive? ITC believes that a value chain
is only as strong as its weakest link. For this reason, ITC supports governments to design
sustainable trade strategies, and enable change in firms’ capacities to compete and participate
in international value chains. The aim is for SMEs to become competitive internationally, in
order to facilitate growth and employment at the national level.
ITC has a long-standing experience in assessing SME competitiveness. As such, it
can assist governments, investors and business support institutions to:
The variety of services available at ITC allows working with partners towards home-grown strategy
solutions and translating benchmarking into sustainable development.
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02 Oct 2019
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