- Posted by Dr. Lukasz Gruszczynski
- On August 22, 2017
- exports, non-tariff barriers, SMEs, trade policy, WTO
Trade Pacts is pleased to announce that its Panel “Learning to trade globally: what should SMEs know?”” has been selected for this year’s World Trade Organisation (WTO) Public Forum in Geneva, Switzerland (program here).
The SME-focussed panel is an important addition to the forum program. In the European Union alone, a third of exports is traded by SMEs – over 600 000 of them. These small to medium-sized enterprises – often limited with resources and trade know-how – bear the brunt of complex and often costly trading requirements.
“This is why there is untapped trading potential, certainly in the least developed and developing countries – those hardest hit by nontariff barriers and linked costs – but throughout Europe, too,” explains Trade Pacts Managing Director Dr Marina Foltea. “These businesses need to stay on top of trade law and policy updates and gather as much information as possible just to stay afloat, let alone prosper.”
With a fickle economy counting to their woes, can today’s SMEs sufficiently enhance their export performance to become substantial players in the international trading system? With the right tools, policies, and professional advice, yes!
The expert speakers
Joining moderator Dr Marina Foltea on 28 September for the Panel are a mix of renowned global trade experts, respected authors, policy makers and private sector representatives. Dr Marion Jansen, Chief Economist of the International Trade Centre (ITC) in Geneva and former WTO counsellor, will look at “Trading globally: what are the hurdles SMEs encounter?”, while Dr Lucian Cernat, the Chief Trade Economist of the European Commission in Brussels with more than two decades of trade policy experience, will detail “The importance of SMEs in the EU Trade Policy”.
Offering a unique corporate perspective is Hermance de La Bastide. Hermance, in her capacity as Head of Public Affairs – UN Agencies and WTO with wine and spirits giant Pernod Ricard, will speak of “Encounters with global trade barriers: lessons from a global player”. Paris headquartered Pernod Ricard boasts 101 production sites and employs more than 18500 people worldwide.
KPMG’s Switzerland Director and Head of Trade & Customs, Michel Anliker, will clarify how trade automation tools can be a significant aid to companies that trade globally. He will talk about some of the best-in-class global trade management technologies and other relevant tools for trading internationally.
Martina Gmuer will deliver the panel’s final presentation. Martina is Head of Export Promotion at Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE) – a widely respected Swiss association with over 2000 member-SMEs. Her talk will provide the perspective of Swiss SMEs entering global markets and a ‘reality check’ on policy-making, with insight into the private sector’s most sought after solutions for export success.
“There are so many hurdles and complex measures facing exporting SMEs. More than ever, SMEs, irrespective of locality, need to equip themselves with as many tools and as much knowledge as possible,” urges Dr Foltea. “As the WTO recognises, ‘trade must work for all’.”
Save the date
The Panel “Learning to trade globally: what should SMEs know?” is open to all interested parties.
When: 10:00 – 11:30, 28 September, 2017
Where: Room S2, WTO, Geneva
The Session, to be translated in French and Spanish, will be followed by a break for pastries and refreshments outside Room S, which will also provide participants the opportunity to engage with speakers and guests.
Access to the WTO building will only be granted to those visitors who have registered for the event on the WTO website here no later than 12 September, 2017.
This is Trade Pacts’ second consecutive contribution to the WTO Public Forum and one of many important events the company speaks at to simplify trade for business and governments. Visit the Trade Pacts website or follow the team on Twitter.