The World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) have selected The Institute of Export & International Trade’s (IOE&IT) proposal to run an ‘Open to Export International Business Awards’ over the summer of 2018, as part of the Small Business Champions initiative, alongside proposals from Ebay (the US) and the National Confederation of Industry in Brazil.
The ICC-WTO Small Business Champions initiative provides a platform for companies and private sector organizations around the world to propose innovative, practical ideas designed to encourage MSMEs to do business across borders.
Step-by-step journey in international trade
The IOE&IT proposed an international version of the Open to Export Action Plan competition to the ICC-WTO panel. Through Open to Export, companies can use the online ‘Export Action Plan’ tool to take ownership of their export strategies, making decisions along each step of their international trade journey - from selecting a market to delivering products or services to new customers. The ‘Export Action Plan Competition’ rewards the best export plans with prizes and further support for the businesses to take their next steps in international trade.
The Open to Export International Business Awards will be aimed at MSMEs from around the world with 20 finalists invited to pitch their plans to a panel of judges at the WTO Public Forum at the start of October. The 20 finalists will receive training in export skills, and the winning entries will receive support from the Institute to put their plans into action.
Desire to help small businesses around the world to trade internationally
WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo said:
"The proposals we are announcing today come from three different parts of the world, but they share a genuine desire to support small businesses and to help them gain the necessary skills to trade internationally. I commend the Institute of Export and International Trade, eBay and the National Confederation of Industry for their creativity in bringing their ideas to the table. We look forward to seeing these projects implemented, and to the positive impact that they will make for small businesses."
ICC Secretary General John Danilovich said:
“Our aim in launching this initiative last year was to demonstrate the capability and willingness of business to help SMEs further reap the proven benefits of global trade. These three new proposals – from the Institute of Export and international Trade, eBay and the Brazilian Confederation of National Industries – powerfully demonstrate the determination of the private sector to make trade more inclusive, and for that I offer them my sincere congratulations.”
The Institute of Export & International Trade is honoured to have the Open to Export platform recognised in this way on an international platform.
Honoured and delighted
The Institute’s Director General Lesley Batchelor said:
“We are delighted and honoured that our proposal to the ICC-WTO Small Business Champions Initiative has been accepted. The competition will be an incredible event, showcasing the fantastic variety of SMEs across all sectors and in all parts of the world grappling with the challenges and opportunities of exporting. The project will also open up the wealth of trade information and advice on the Open to Export site to a wider audience, showing that Britain is keen to do business with the world and support global trade, especially as we leave the European Union."
The ICC-WTO Small Business Champions Initiative
The 'ICC-WTO Small Business Champions' initiative has been launched by the WTO and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) to facilitate participation by smaller companies in international trade. It will provide a platform for companies and private sector organizations around the world to propose innovative, practical ideas designed to encourage micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to do business across borders. Those businesses putting forward successful proposals will be recognized as 'ICC-WTO Small Business Champions'.