MSMEs are key contributors to national economies and important participants in international trade. At the same time, they face many systemic barriers to participating in international trade.
Among the major challenges MSMEs face in reaching export markets is timely and cost-effective access to services such as logistics for shipping goods abroad, knowledge of regulatory requirements in the exporting and importing countries, and trade finance. In addition, they often lack the specialized knowledge required for navigating many Single Window systems, government e-services and advanced supply chain e-tools, for example for traceability. The majority of MSMEs also find prohibitive the costs for becoming an Authorized Economic Operator, so they seldom benefit from the advantages given to AEOs.
This situation is particularly critical in low and medium income countries where trade-related services are less developed, more difficult to access and more expensive than in the majority of developed countries.
Integrated Services for MSMEs in International Trade (ISMIT) can bring together the professional service providers and service partners that are needed in order to facilitate the participation of MSMEs in international trade within a practical framework that also supports their participation in Global Value Chains (GVCs). Examples of such service providers and partners are customs brokers, freight forwarders, logistics service providers, warehouses, export agencies, banks, insurance companies, law firms, etc.
The objective of this project is to guide and encourage the development of eService platforms which facilitate trade for MSMEs by addressing these obstacles in an effective manner. To reach this objective, it is proposed to develop a white paper which presents a framework for Integrated Services for MSMEs in International Trade (ISMIT), as well as supporting principles and guidelines.
The scope of this project is to develop a whitepaper on Integrated Services for MSMEs in International Trade, including the definition, vision, benefit, core principles, management responsibilities, etc. The whitepaper will also describe the range of services, business processes and partnerships that could be included in an ISMIT: looking at these from the perspective of how they overcome obstacles and facilitate the participation of MSME’s in international trade. Implementation guidance will also be included in the form of different organizational and financial models/options as well as case studies.
The project deliverables are: A Whitepaper on Integrated Services for MSMEs in International Trade (ISMITs).
a) Whitepaper on International Trade Integrated Service for MSME
• Internal review log showing how comments have been addressed
• Final draft text ready for publication
Project Team Membership and Required Functional Expertise
Membership is open to experts with broad knowledge in international trade facilitation and e-commerce for MSMEs (legal, procedural, implementation…). In addition, Heads of Delegations may invite technical experts from their constituencies to participate in the work. Experts are expected to contribute to the work based solely on their expertise and to comply with the UN/CEFACT Code of Conduct and Ethics.
The geographic focus is global.
Background paper on ISMITs.
Participants in the project shall provide resources for their own participation. The existence and functioning of the project shall not require any additional resources from the UNECE secretariat. The project will be primarily prepared in between Forums using conference call facilities (some assistance may be needed from the UNECE secretariat for this) and, if needed, a face to face meeting during the Spring 2018 Forum.
Project Proposal Files