The Voice of Business

SMEs: Connecting to Global Markets

15 December
13:30 - 15:00


TDS LIVE | SMEs: Connecting to Global Markets

Session objectives 

The increased integration of developing countries into the global trading system continues to transform the trade landscape. The logic of such integration is that firms can no longer just rely on being competitive in the domestic, or even regional, market to ensure their long-term survival. Rather is through internationalising and being competitive within an international context that Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can become more sustainable and contribute to growth and job creation.  SMEs) account for anywhere between 60-90% of global employment, and the majority of new job creation, in most developing countries. However, SMEs suffer from high failure rates and low productivity. Evidence has shown that supporting the sustainability and growth of SMEs is an important policy component of employment, social cohesion and more inclusive growth.

These issues are highlighted in the 2015 ITC “SME Competitiveness Outlook - Connect, Compete, Change for Inclusive Growth”. The report complements macro-level trade development publications with its new SME Competitiveness Grid and based on three competitiveness pillars – to connect, compete and change – the Grid makes it easier to spot the strengths and weaknesses of enterprises. Addressing the productivity gap is crucial for inclusive growth, and in order to increase productivity firms must connect, compete and change.

These recommendations are in line with the tools proposed by ConnectAmericas, a non-profit initiative spearheaded by the IDB in order to support the SMEs of Latin America and the Caribbean. ConnectAmericas offers members access to potential clients, suppliers, partners and investors throughout the region and around the world.