World Export Development Forum in Rwanda

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World Export Development Forum in Rwanda

Post  Sirop14 on Mon Aug 18, 2014 9:57 am

World Export Development Forum in Rwanda

Business leaders and policymakers meet to enhance SMEs’ role

Business leaders and policymakers will gather in Kigali, Rwanda on 15-17 September, to explore ways that can lead to higher exports by small businesses. They will also participate in facilitated business networking sessions with companies from overseas interested in doing business in Africa.

The World Export Development Forum (WEDF) is organised by the International Trade Centre (ITC), the only United Nations organisation with an exclusive focus on assisting small and medium-sized enterprises. It is the first time that this flagship conference, to be hosted by the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), is taking place in Africa.

Small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) account for nearly two-thirds of Africa’s employment, but only a small minority of these businesses is involved in international trade. Exporting SMEs tend to be more productive and pay higher wages than those producing for the domestic market alone.

Given SMEs’ role as engines for economic growth and employment creation, governments, trade support institutions, trade and investment promotion authorities, multinationals and the international development community are increasingly supporting SMEs by investing in building productive capacity, improving skills and supporting access to capital and finance. SME competitiveness is central to a country’s overall competitiveness and its ability to respond to international market demand.

Integrating into global production networks is of particular importance to Africa as global trade flows take place increasingly within value chains dominated by large multinationals. It is only through value addition that African companies will be able to integrate into value chains and move up. Lowering transaction costs and facilitating border crossing are key for the development of regional value chains and economic integration within Africa, a stated goal of the continent’s leaders. These issues will take centre-stage at this year’s WEDF.

With more than 500 selected participants from the private and public sectors, WEDF will provide an issue-focused setting for attendees to gain practical understanding in SME competitiveness issues and engage in a discussion with thought leaders, including UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, World Trade Organisation director-general Roberto Azevedo, and entrepreneur and investor Ashish Thakkar, as well as with practitioners from around the world.

For more information and registration see

ITC is the joint agency of the World Trade Organisation and the United Nations. ITC assists small and medium-sized enterprises in developing and transition economies to become more competitive in global markets, thereby contributing to sustainable economic development within the frameworks of the Aid-for-Trade agenda and the Millennium Development Goals.


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