WTO trade information platform for MSMEs launched

MANILA – The World Trade Organization (WTO) has recently launched its Trade4MSMEs website, a tool aimed at helping micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) find trade-related information and improve their abilities to trade internationally.

The Trade4MSMEs platform (https://trade4msmes.org/) has also been developed to support policy makers and researchers in designing measures tailored to the needs of small business outfits.

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 —  MSME Resources and Policymaker Resources. The MSME Resources is divided into MSME Guides and MSME Library.

The MSME Guides section contains 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 target and their readiness to export.

It lists the key trade documents required for companies to export or import in various markets, contractual or intellectual property issues that need to be considered, and logistics and transport options. The guides also explain how small firms can access trade finance, make the best use of digital tools, and deal with potential trade disputes.

The MSME Library has resources 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, with information for policy makers, government officials and researchers and outlines important issues for MSMEs and highlights best practices.

The platform provides information on international and regional initiatives aimed at MSMEs and contains links to data sources 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, International Chamber of Commerce and its Centres for Entrepreneurship, International Trade Center, and Google. Additional partnerships will be developed in the coming months.