The subject of MSMEs has emerged as an active topic of discussion among WTO members. In May 2017, a group of 47 members (counting the EU member States individually), the so-called “Friends of MSMEs”, launched an Informal Dialogue to discuss how this issue could be addressed at the WTO in a coordinated manner.

The Informal Dialogue led to the creation of an Informal Working Group on MSMEs at the WTO, in 2017. The objective of the Group, which is composed of 89 members , is to identify horizontal and non-discriminatory measures that would promote MSMEs’ participation in international trade. Discussions include (but are not limited to): access to information; access to trade finance; trade costs; technical assistance and capacity building; trade facilitation, shipping and logistics; and how to promote a predictable regulatory environment.

Members of the Informal Working Group are exploring initiatives on these topics and are looking to create a WTO-wide consensus for MSME-support before the next WTO Ministerial Conference (June 2020). Ultimately, the Friends of MSMEs would like to see (i) the establishment of a formal WTO MSME Working Group and (ii) the reduction of impediments to MSME participation in global trade. Read more >>

MSME Trade Dialogues

Participate in the MSME Trade Dialogues to help identify and address the barriers that MSMEs face when doing business. Browse related documents and events below.

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MSME Ideas Exchange: WTO Joint Initiative on MSMEs

The Informal Working Group on MSMEs was created by 88 WTO Members at the 11th Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires on 13 December 2017. Participants are committed to discuss and identify “horizontal and non-discriminatory solutions” to improve the participation of MSMES in international trade.

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MSME Focused Initiatives

Access to a range of MSME specific services.

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