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.



Regional snapshots: SME competitiveness and export potential when standards matter

Competitiveness scores vary greatly both across and within regions. Figure 52 presents an overview of the performance of regions’ capacity to compete, connect and change. As the category ‘other’ is composed mostly of developed countries, this report refers to this category as developed countries. Furthermore, developing countries are split according to geographical location 206. Thus, when the report refers to the Asia-Pacific region, it concerns developing countries in this geographical area. These groupings depart from the ones used in the 2015 SME Competitiveness Outlook, and thus may be responsible for slight variations in the regional statistics between the editions.


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