SME Competitiveness Outlook 2016

Meeting the Standard for Trade

image of SME Competitiveness Outlook 2016
Standards and regulations are an integral, if easily overlooked, part of our daily life. They determine whether a plug fits into a socket, whether food is safe for human consumption or whether a bank is allowed to take deposits. They are also an indispensable part of international trade. Using new evidence from ITC databases, this report reveals how standards and regulations are holding SME competitiveness back, but crucially, what SMEs and other stakeholders can do to make standards and regulations work for, and not against, SMEs. In this report, advice targeted at SME managers is presented, as well as how Trade and Investment Support Institutions and policymakers can influence the business environment to boost competitiveness, and integration into global markets.



Measuring SME competitiveness

ITC classifies the drivers of firm competitiveness according to how they affect competitiveness (three pillars) and according to where in the economy they intervene (three levels). The three pillars and levels of competitiveness together form the SME Competitiveness Grid. While it was designed to focus on SME competitiveness, it is independent of scale and can also serve to assess the competitiveness of larger firms.


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