ICC-WTO SMALL BUSINESS CHAMPIONS INITIATIVE

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DG Azevêdo and ICC Brazil Executive-Director, Gabriel Petrus, heard that CNI has successfully completed a range of activities, including a survey of small businesses aimed at identifying the difficulties they face in trading internationally, a series of capacity-building roadshows in nine Brazilian states and the development of information-sharing and training activities via brochures, online courses and videos.

The Director-General said:

"I am very impressed by how much the Confederation has accomplished in such a short space of time. I commend Brazil's National Confederation of Industry for their commitment to improving the trading opportunities for small businesses in Brazil. I look forward to seeing more business organizations step up to provide innovative tools that can help their small businesses access global markets."

ICC also congratulated the work done:

“ICC strongly believes that the growth in global trade in the next years will be driven by SMEs. Countries like Brazil, that can still increase significantly their participation in international trade, need to create systems and tools that enable their SMEs to reach beyond their national borders. Initiatives like the one CNI is spearheading are crucial and will have a positive impact for Brazil’s economic and social growth. This is exactly what Small Business Champions, an initiative of ICC and the WTO, aims to achieve.”

CNI conducted a survey of 500 exporting companies, including 429 micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), to identify the main barriers faced by Brazilian MSMEs when trading internationally. The survey found that the main barriers include tariffs, customs bureaucracy in the importing country, technical standards, sanitary or phytosanitary measures, and obstacles regarding rules of origin, trade defence measures and quantitative import restrictions. The results of the survey were summarized in a brochure that will be circulated widely. 

Another successful initiative were the capacity-building roadshows targeting small businesses in nine Brazilian states (Amazonas, Bahia, Goiás, Minas Gerais, Paraná, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina and São Paulo). These states were selected due to their high level of activity in the export market, particularly in terms of MSMEs. One of the tools used by these roadshows was a guide to trade barriers, explaining in easy-to-understand terms how companies can identify and overcome various types of barriers in export markets. CNI also conducted an online course to increase MSMEs' capacity to deal with trade barriers.

CNI also created a coalition of businesses, mobilised to raise awareness about trade barriers and to call for trade policies that create a supportive environment for MSMEs. The coalition consists of 42 private sector associations and 27 federations of industry, which will focus on tackling trade barriers.

In addition, CNI produced a video to highlight the importance of private sector engagement in the issue of trade barriers and developed 30 case studies on particular barriers faced by companies in a variety of markets, with specific analysis and recommendations on how to overcome these barriers.  

The ICC-WTO Small Business Champions initiative invited companies and private sector organizations to propose innovative, practical ideas designed to encourage MSMEs to do business across borders. The call for proposals for the initiative closed in December 2017.

A range of businesses, including eBay, Argentina's Chamber of Commerce and Services and Mercado Libre, have submitted successful proposals. Following successful completion of the projects, the businesses are recognized as ICC-WTO Small Business Champions.

Google and the Institute of Export and International Trade have already been recognized as Small Business Champions.

Read more about the ICC-WTO Small Business Champions initiative here.

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