During the podcast, DDG González noted that many small businesses are born digital and are therefore well-positioned to benefit from trade. But insufficient access to finance, complex regulatory regimes and burdensome customs procedures prevent many small businesses from breaking into supply chains, she said. She highlighted the importance of developing trade rules with small businesses in mind and said that the WTO's work on trade facilitation has direct and tangible benefits for small businesses in developing and developed economies alike.

DDG González highlighted that during the pandemic, the WTO has been working to support governments in their trade response to the twin health and economic crises. She said that since the pandemic first struck, the WTO has issued over 20 information notes to help governments identify and tackle critical bottlenecks along vaccine supply chains, put in place measures to facilitate trade, and gauge the impact of the pandemic on trade. But she noted that more is needed, and that governments have to work harder to improve vaccine equity and ensure that the world is better prepared when the next health emergency hits.

DDG González said that while the global trading system is not perfect, it is essential. She highlighted that the trading system provides a rules-based framework to ensure that trade flows as smoothly and predictably as possible. This has proven to be an important insurance policy in times of crisis, she said, but it cannot be taken for granted. She called on governments to work together to accelerate WTO reform and to update the rules in areas such as the digital economy, investment facilitation and fisheries subsidies to ensure that trade can continue to deliver benefits for people in the 21st century. The rules must reflect the world of today, she said.

The podcast can be found here.




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