MICRO, SMALL AND MEDIUM-SIZED ENTERPRISES (MSMES)
Mexico informed the group that the Trade4MSME platform is now available in French and Spanish, and that outreach was made to international and regional organisations to invite them to become partners to help make the platform as useful as possible for MSMEs and policy makers. Trade4MSME was launched in December 2021 to help small companies find trade-related information that improves their ability to trade internationally.
Implementation of the MSMEs package:
Japan said that they are considering including a section on MSMEs in their upcoming Trade Policy Review in 2023, in line with the Working Group's recommendations.
In the December 2020 package of declarations and decisions, the Group adopted a recommendation which calls on members to provide, on a voluntary basis, information on policies related to MSMEs during their Trade Policy Reviews. The aim is to enhance transparency and to share information on the number of MSMEs in the economy, their share in international trade, and programmes that help MSMEs trade.
Many members took the floor to express their strong opposition to the conflict in Ukraine. The Russian delegate responded by saying that the WTO was not the proper venue for a discussion of this nature.
The International Trade Centre gave an update on the Global Trade Helpdesk. The Secretariat updated the Working Group on the results of the First Review of the Operation and Implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), highlighting specific aspects of interest to MSMEs. One of the issues stemming from the review is the need to consider challenges faced by MSMEs in relation to transit of goods to and from landlocked countries. The Secretariat also provided an update on implementation of the 2019 IDB decision.
The secretariat briefed members on MSME-related discussions in the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee in the area of conformity assessment procedures, transparency, and notifications, including the e-ping system, which is an alert system for notifications related to TBT and sanitary and phytosanitary measures.
The Global Cyber Alliance presented its toolkit for small businesses which can help them reduce cyber risks by implementing cyber security controls.