Pradeep S Mehta, Secretary General, CUTS International
The session will have discussions on the role of trade policies in enhancing the participation of SMEs, including women-led/owned/managed SMEs, in global trade. The nature of trade is rapidly evolving with SMEs leading the path of growth, employment generation and poverty reduction across nations. SMEs face unique challenges such as difficulties in customs compliance, access to credit, lack of knowledge about foreign markets, etc., and thus, there is an urgent need for countries to orient their trade policies in ways which encourage and facilitate trade by SMEs. It will aim to facilitate the exchange of best practices, industry opinions, policy making hurdles, and the role that the WTO can play to help Member countries to orient their trade policies. It will involve participation of experts and policy-makers who will make brief presentations on specific themes on the subject, followed by a panel discussion and audience interaction.