Mainstreaming SMEs into the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation’s Operations

The Project at A Glance

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the global economy. Nevertheless, their presence in international trade is somewhat limited. One of the multiple challenges that SMEs face whenever they engage in trade is their limited capacity to deal with the complex administrative and regulatory procedures associated with moving and selling goods across borders. Therefore, the proper implementation of the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) can become a powerful tool to promote the participation of SMEs in international trade.

International Economics, with funding from the World Economic Forum, assisted the the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation to mainstream SMEs into the Alliance’s operations.

What We Found

The project’s overall objective was to carry out an internal review of the Alliance’s projects, policies and processes to identify existing activities to include SMEs, evaluate where gaps exist, recommend how best to address them and propose guidelines to further integrate SME considerations in Alliance operations.

Our Strategy and Impact

In particular, the team conducted desk review and data collection to determine the level of inclusiveness and how integrated SMEs are in the different processes, from design to implementation. Relevant stakeholders were also interviewed to get a better understanding of the Alliance’s decision to focus more on SMEs. The final report, which included analysis and synthesis of data and information collected, was used to inform the Alliance’s strategy for mainstreaming SMEs into its operations.

Our Core Solutions

Applying our analysis and research knowledge, we help our clients maximise efficiency and improve their development objectives. Through the lessons learnt and the feedback mechanisms we implement in our monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) processes, we support institutional strengthening and the re-alignment of resources to ensure the sustainability and maximum impact of projects, helping our clients make well-informed strategic decisions.

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