WTO launches trade information platform for MSMEs

The World Trade Organization (WTO) announced the launch on December 2 of the Trade4MSMEs website, a tool aimed at helping micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) find trade-related information that improves their ability to trade internationally.

The Trade4MSMEs platform was also developed to support policymakers and researchers in designing measures tailored to the needs of small companies. Trade4MSMEs can be accessed at https://trade4msmes.org/.

The new platform, launched by WTO’s Informal Working Group on Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, will allow small businesses to access a diverse range of trade information brought together from a variety of sources.

The website has two main sections—the MSME Resources and the Policymaker Resources.

The MSME Resources is divided into MSME Guides and MSME Library. The MSME Guides contains short guides providing key information on the steps that companies need to follow before exporting or importing goods or services, such as how to assess the export potential of the markets they are targeting and their readiness to export.

It lists the key trade documents required for companies to export or import in various markets, the contractual or intellectual property issues that need to be considered and the logistics and transport options available.

The guides also explain how small businesses can access trade finance, make the best use of digital tools, and deal with potential trade disputes.

The MSME Library provides resources for MSMEs about several topics involving trade, including trade in goods, trade in services, intellectual property, contractual disputes, digital technologies and trade, access to finance, capacity building, and regional trade agreements.

The Policymaker Resources contains the Policymaker Guides and Policymaker Library. It provides information for policymakers, government officials and researchers, outlining important issues for MSMEs and highlighting best practices. The platform provides information on international and regional initiatives aimed at MSMEs and contains links to MSME data sources available for analytical purposes.

The WTO said the platform was developed with financial support from the United Kingdom while additional funding from Canada will be available. Current partners include the Global Trade Helpdesk, the International Chamber of Commerce and its Centres for Entrepreneurship, the International Trade Centre and Google. Additional partnerships will be developed in the coming months.

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