New global initiative to help small businesses take part in international trade

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The ICC and the WTO have launched a new initiative to help smaller companies take part in international trade.

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) have allied on a new initiative designed to help more small businesses get involved in international trade.

Entitled the ICC-WTO Small Business Champions programme, the scheme will offer a platform for companies and private sector organizations to propose practical ideas to encourage micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to trade across borders.

This will help to raise awareness of barriers that these companies currently face when trading with other countries, while also highlighting positive experiences and success stories, facilitating access to critical information, and raising skills among business owners to help them diversify their export markets.

The call for proposals is open until the end of 2017, with successful concepts to be selected and executed upon by the WTO Secretariat and the ICC.

WTO director-general Roberto Azevedo said: "The smaller the business, the bigger the barriers can seem. Spreading the benefits of trade further and wider means helping these companies to take part, particularly as MSMEs are such important job creators."