Marc Auboin, Counsellor, Economic Research and Statistics Division, WTO
SMEs are the main driver of trade, employment and economic development. In its recent report, the WTO confirmed the existing gaps in provision of trade finance to SMEs and encouraged further efforts in closing these gaps, which has the potential to positively impact on inclusive trade by cementing the place of SMEs in the heart of the global trading system.
The EBRD has been supporting local banking sectors and SMEs through its Trade Facilitation Programme and its Advice for Small Businesses respectively. It has now launched a blended product which will help SMEs develop their capabilities to access trade finance for their sustainable growth and job creation, and will stimulate the local banking sectors to offer tailored trade finance products to SMEs. These efforts, which can be replicated in other regions, should ultimately result in better access to trade finance and a more active role of SMEs in international trade.