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International Trade Centre begins work on G20 MSME portal

GENEVA: The International Trade Centre (ITC), a United Nations-WTO joint venture, has begun work on developing a prototype of Global Trade Helpdesk to enhance information access for small businesses in line with the G20 plan for trade endorsed at the New Delhi summit, Pamela Coke Hamilton, its executive director, told ET.

The ‘Jaipur Call for Action’ under India’s G20 presidency has roped in Geneva-based ITC for “appropriate, aggregated, trade-related information relevant for MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises)” available on a single portal and a non-exhaustive list of links to relevant government websites for MSMEs.

The New Delhi declaration adopted last week by the G20 leaders had endorsed the proposal.

“We will have an initial report on the Global Trade Helpdesk for members next year – to be shared at our annual meeting of stakeholders – and the plan is to work towards building a prototype,” Coke Hamilton said in an interview to ET.


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The updated portal is a onestop shop of trade information to help small businesses of developing countries for cross border trade. It will be shared with the G20 members next year.

The portal already contains information on rules of origin, standards, market access, technical barriers to trade, export potential, and goods trade.

“With the upgrade, the platform will be easier to use for MSMEs, so they can more intuitively find the information they need to do business,” she added.

Globally, MSMEs account for 60% of jobs and 50-60% of the world GDP.

“We will have an initial progress report on the upgrading of the Global Trade Helpdesk to present to our joint advisory group – where members and key stakeholders, including the WTO and UNCTAD, are represented – in the first half of 2024,” Coke Hamilton said.

On data privacy on the upgraded portal, she said there are concerns about how shared information can stay protected.

“At our end, we’ll continue to explore new technological solutions to ensure data privacy and share the minimum data needed to provide meaningful information to users,” Coke Hamilton said.

The reporter is in Geneva at the invitation of the World Trade Organization.

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