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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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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.

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