50 Years of Unlocking SME Competitiveness

Lessons for the Future

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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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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.

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