MICRO, SMALL AND MEDIUM-SIZED ENTERPRISES (MSMES)

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The Coordinator of the Group, Ambassador José Luís Cancela (Uruguay), invited members to think about new issues on which they would like to organize information sessions and presentations at the working group's meetings and submit proposals.  

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on MSMEs and how to help them overcome the crisis and become more resilient was suggested as a theme for future discussions by some members.

The Coordinator announced that Kuwait and Thailand have endorsed the package of six recommendations and declarations finalised in December 2020 and that the number of sponsors now stands at 94. The package aims at addressing challenges smaller businesses face when they trade internationally.

Mexico updated the group on the work under way to establish the Trade4MSMEs platform aimed at helping MSMES tackle non-tariff barriers by facilitating access to relevant information. The group is eyeing the WTO's 12th Ministerial Conference, which is due to take place this year, for launching the platform.

The Global Express Association gave a presentation on how simplifying and automating the handling of low-value shipments can facilitate trade conducted by small businesses and make it more efficient for governments to collect revenues.

The group heard an update from the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe on their Integrated Services for MSMEs in International Trade (ISMIT) project. This project calls for the establishment of private or public-private portals to provide information on services suppliers to MSMEs. For instance, the portal could provide access to logistics service providers, financing services, insurance services and regulatory services. A representative from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development shared information on the organization's work on MSMEs. Canada shared with the group how its national cybersecurity strategy helps MSMEs to mitigate cybersecurity risks.

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