The Institute of Export and International Trade are 'WTO-ICC Small Business Champions'

Mon 8 Oct 2018
Posted by: William Barns-Graham
IOE News
ioeit - wto-icc small business champions

Photos from the WTO Public Forum 2018 photo gallery have here been reproduced with the permission of the WTO. Photos: © WTO/Jay Louvion

Zambian Honeymakers, Dytech Limited, Win the ‘Open to Export International Business Awards’

The Institute of Export & International Trade (IOEIT) are now officially recognised as ‘Small Business Champions’ by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). This follows the completion of the IOE&IT’s proposal to run  'The Open to Export International Business Awards’ – a competition encouraging MSMEs from anywhere in the world to take ownership of their international strategies by completing an ‘Export Action Plan’, using Open to Export’s (OTE) online planning tool. 

After a thrilling showcase final at the WTO Public Forum in Geneva - in which the year’s best ‘Export Action Planners’ pitched to an expert panel of judges for the chance to win a $5000 cash prize - Dytech Limited, a Zambian honey producer, were named as winners of the inaugural international competition.

Dytech Limited impressed the judging panel with their broad product range, 100% natural production processes, and its social impact in training highly skilled beekeepers in Zambia, 40% of whom are women. Two runners up – Hot Mama’s Belize (pepper sauce producers) and Lhamour (skincare products from Mongolia) - also won free membership with the International Chamber of Commerce.

dytech limited

The IOE&IT had received export plans from all over the world, with the finalists coming from Peru, Vietnam, Algeria, Zambia, Belize, Mongolia, Macedonia, Trinidad, Armenia, St Kitts, Jordan and the UK. Overall, the IOE&IT reached SMEs in at least 74 countries during the awards initiative, showing that it is leading the way for a more outward-looking Global Britain.

The judging panel consisted of Yi Xiaozhun (Deputy Director General of the WTO), Chris Southworh (Secretary General of ICC UK), Arne Mielken (Young President of the IOE&IT), Nicholas Niggli (Director General for Economic Development, Research and Innovation, Republic and State of Geneva), and Shaun Lake (Senior Adviser: E-Learning at the International Trade Centre). The final was compered by Director General of the IOE&IT, Lesley Batchelor OBE.

Read the full report of the final on Open to Export

Causing a Stir at the WTO Public Forum

The final took place at the WTO Public Forum - the WTO’s largest annual outreach event, providing a platform for participants to discuss the latest developments in world trade and to propose ways of enhancing the multilateral trading system. Throughout the Forum, the IOE&IT and OTE ran a stand promoting the competition finalists, including samples they had bought from all over the world.

The stand showcased the businesses of each of the finalists, with samples on show including Vietnamese and Mongolian natural soap products, Scottish marine biology inspired fashionwear, Algerian chemical-free pesticides and rodenticides, and Andean beauty salt products. From further afield, finalists also pitched Armenian wines, Macedonia caviars, Belizean pepper sauces, Jordanian tote bags manufactured by Syrian refugees, Trinidadian vinyl clocks, and food-inspired beauty products from St Kitts.

Throughout the Forum the OTE Awards stand was a busy hub of inspiration and discussion, with each of the attending finalists meeting with international businesses, media, governments, and trade support organisations.

finalists at the open to export international business awards

“Inspiring to be supporting SMEs from all over the planet”

WTO Deputy Director-General Yi said:

"I would like to congratulate the Institute of Export and International Trade on the completion of their project. Developing the skills of SMEs and giving them the necessary guidance is essential if we want them to increase their participation in international trade. I would also wish to congratulate all the finalists for the great ideas they have presented today."

Chris Southworth, Secretary General of ICC United Kingdom, said:

“Making world trade more inclusive means enabling more SMEs to trade — like the 12 finalists of this International Business Award — and expand into global markets. In helping SMEs design and implement global growth plans, the Institute of Export and International Trade is playing an important role in bringing the indisputable benefits of open trade to a wider cross-section of companies and workers. Congratulations.”

Lesley Batchelor, Director General of the IOE&IT, said:

"Running this competition and working with inspiring MSMEs from around the world has been both humbling and truly inspirational. Thank you to the WTO and ICC for supporting it."

Arne Mielken, Young President of the IOE&IT, said:

“We are deeply honoured by the confidence the WTO and ICC have placed in us, enabling us to make a practical and tangible contribution towards more inclusive trade. We’ve been delighted to work with the WTO on the Open to Export International Business Awards with the honour of hosting the final at this year’s WTO Public Forum. We are proud of the achievements of our finalists, who are a shining light for MSMEs around the world. The future holds bright for all of our contestants today, who have shown the impact that technologies like our 'Export Action Plan' tool can make towards increasing trade from all places and from business of all sizes.” 

Read more about the Small Business Champions Initiative here.