50 Years of Unlocking SME Competitiveness

50 Years of Unlocking SME Competitiveness

Lessons for the Future You do not have access to this content

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30 Nov 2014
9789213614822 (PDF)

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50 years of fostering trade competitiveness around the globe generated a wealth of experience and expertise. ITC gained invaluable insights and learned many lessons in supporting SMEs in developing, least developed and transition economies to enhance their competitiveness and to internationalize. While ITC’s mandate has remained unchanged over the last five decades, the trade landscape has altered radically and with it the manner in which ITC has delivered its trade-related technical assistance. The rise of a multi-polar global economy gave way to new trade, market and investment opportunities. A technological revolution transformed the way business is being transacted around the world. The multilateral, regional and bilateral trade regime matured and new governance patterns in international trade emerged in the form of supply chain trade.

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  • Foreword

    This publication, 50 Years of Unlocking SME Competitiveness: Lessons for the Future, is a testimony to the International Trade Centre of the past and to that of the future.

  • Acknowledgements

    A book of this scope requires the dedication of many individuals. The book was developed under the leadership of Anders Aeroe, ITC Director, Division of Market Development, as a contribution to the ITC 50th anniversary. This included concept development, management and overall coordination. He was supported by a team including Rajesh Aggarwal, Acting Director, ITC Division of Business and Institutional Support; Raimund Moser, Programme Development Advisor; and Natalie Domeisen, Head of PublicAffairs and Publications.

  • Abbreviations
  • Executive summary

    International business has changed radically over the last 50 years. The way countries and enterprises produce and trade has been reshaped by new technologies, transportation innovations and changing demand patterns. This has led to the emergence of new growth poles, growing trade in intermediate goods, an increasingly important role for small and medium-sized enterprises, and it has made countries and enterprises interdependent.

  • Reflecting on five decades of growth

    A distinctive feature of the post-World War II period has been the steady and sustained increase in international commerce. Except for a few épisodes when the world went into recession (most notably in the early 1980s, following the oil price shocks of 1974 and 1979, and in 2009 as a resuit of the global financial crisis) international trade has grown more rapidly than world output, year in, year out.

  • What drives trade growth

    Global trade growth has been shaped by many trends, but two stand out: technological change and économie policy reform.

  • ITC, 50 years of trade development

    As trade and investment have grown over the past 50 years, ITC has been in the forefront of the émergence of the promotion of trade competitiveness as a separate discipline within the field of économie development. In the early 1960s, almost no developing country had its own trade promotion infrastructure. Many had not yet attained national independence. Trade was not part of the development agenda, and there were no trade-related technical coopération programmes

  • The global trade landscape in the next 20 years

    If trade has changed significantly over the past 50 years, the next 20 years will bring equally profound changes. Consumer demand, what is traded and what is produced will continue to evolve.

  • The way forward for ITC

    For ITC, 50 years of fostering trade competitiveness has generated a wealth of experience and expertise. The organization gained valuable insights and learned many lessons in supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing, least developed and transition economies to enhance their global competitiveness.

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