MSME Ideas Exchange: WTO Joint Initiative on MSMEs

Message from the Coordinator of the WTO Joint Initiative on MSMEs

Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) are key economic players. They account for 95% of companies across the globe and 60% of the world’s total employment. Yet, they remain underrepresented and face many obstacles when seeking to participate in international trade.

We believe that the WTO can play a critical role in supporting MSMEs’ participation in international trade. This is why we launched the Joint Initiative on MSMEs at the Buenos Aires WTO Ministerial Conference on 13 December 2017 (WT/MIN(17)/58/Rev.1 [hyperlink to document]). Our initiative is a coalition of 90 WTO Members (counting EU member states individually)* of all levels of development and all regions of the world that share an interest in improving access to global markets for Micro, Small and Medium Sized enterprises (MSMEs). It is open to all Members and aspires to ensure that the multilateral system enables better inclusion of MSMEs in global commerce. When MSMEs successfully access international markets, they can act as a catalyst for better distribution of the gains from trade to all sectors of the economy.

Issues identified for discussion include access to information, ways to promote a more predictable regulatory environment for MSMEs, access to trade finance, trade facilitation, technical assistance and capacity building, and addressing issues of particular interest to MSMEs in WTO Trade Policy Reviews. Other topics may emerge as discussions progress.

We are convinced that by working together at the WTO we can help MSMEs benefit more from international trade. Close interaction with the private sector is key to help us identify issues that deserve consideration at the WTO. This online platform is one of the tools through which we are reaching out to the private sector, to hear their views and help inform our discussions.

Official reports on our meetings are available below. If you wish to be kept informed of our activities, we invite you to subscribe to our Newsletter (see below).

We invite all private sector representatives who wish to help us advance discussions on MSMEs at the WTO to reach out to us.

H.E. Mr. Ambassador Jose Luis Cancela Permanent Representative of Uruguay to the WTO

You can find a list of initially invited participants by clicking here.

If you would like to participate, please contact us at

Related documents

NewsletterMeeting reportsWorking documents
MSMEs Fall 2018 Newsletter
MPME Bulletin d’information – Automne 2018
MIPYME Boletin de Otono de 2018
MSME Newsletter Winter 2019
MPME Bulletin d’Hiver 2019
MIPYME Boletin Invierno 2019
Report IWG 1
Report IWG 2
Report IWG 3
Report IWG 4
Report IWG 5
Report IWG 6
Report IWG 7
Report IWG 8
Report IWG 9
IWG Communication 1
IWG Communication 1 – Revision 1
IWG Communication 1 – Revision 2
IWG Communication 2
IWG Statement on MSMEs

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