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Ben Butters, Director Policy EUROCHAMBRES


SMEs are engines for growth and the number one source of employment across the global economy.

In increasingly intertwined global markets, SMEs still have a vast untapped economic potential and often produce sustainable production processes within their communities. Yet while global value chains have expanded significantly as a consequence of trade liberalization, a significant proportion of SMEs have yet to adapt to this new reality. Policy makers have a key role to play in facilitating this adaptation.

While entrepreneurs are increasingly "born global", the gap between the number of existing SMEs with export potential and those that already export remains significant.

Across the global economy, the potential of SMEs to become the economic champions of tomorrow is clearly there, but the conditions need to be right for this potential to be fully realized.

The present proposal for a Panel "towards a WTO small business agreement" seeks to set out the main elements that such a global small business initiative should contain.


  • Alejandro Jara, Senior Counsel King&Spalding
  • Lucian Cernat, Chief Economist DG Trade, European Commission
  • Rajesh Aggarwal, Chief, Trade Facilitation and Policy for Business, International Trade Center (ITC)
  • Carmen Gisela Vergara, Secretary General, Sistema de Integración Económica Centroamericana (SIECA)
  • Alfredo Bonet, Director International Director, Chamber of Commerce Spain
  • Tiziana Zugliano, Attaché, Permanent Mission of Italy to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations in Geneva