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The biennial Trade and Sustainable Development Symposium, organised by the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) and held alongside the WTO ministerial conference for over a decade, is the leading multi-stakeholder platform for intellectual enquiry and dialogue on sustainable development and the global trade and investment system. It acts as an inclusive platform outside of the WTO negotiating setting for sharing ideas, engaging in dialogue, and influencing trade policy negotiations. Drawing in participants from government, business and civil society, the Symposium helps to maintain and elaborate a global vision of sustainable development in trade and investment policymaking.
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Wednesday, December 13 • 5:30pm - 7:00pm
The Region: A Door to Global Trade for SMEs

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The trade landscape continues to transform and many companies are exploring how to remain profitable and operate in this changing scenario. One response has been to strengthen operations where the policy environment is most stable and where trade costs are lowest. For many companies, ‘their region’ represents such a place.For small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) regional trade has always been the most common form of internationalization. This is particularly important in the context of value chains, which are often more regional than global in reach.This session will explore how SMEs can benefit from participating in value chains – both international and regional – and how regional trade agreements (RTAs) may create and support greater value chain operations and ensure that SMEs can enter them, operate successfully and upgrade.Regional and multiregional value chains, including South-South, offer SMEs lower entry barriers than international value chains. However, the extent to which SMEs benefit depends on their position within the value chain, which is in turn determined by their bargaining power and competitiveness.Both the behavior of companies – lead firms and suppliers – and the shape of international value chains are intertwined with regional trade agreements. Indeed, regional trade agreements increase value chain driven trade, while value chains shape the design of trade agreements. Evidence suggests that it may be useful to look at value chains operations, the distribution of trade benefits and the design of RTAs in a holistic manner.The 2017 edition of the SME Competitiveness Outlook “The region: A door to global trade” will have its Latin America launch at this session.

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avatar for Adrian Fognini

Adrian Fognini

Managing Director, Thomson Reuters, Ibero-América
Adrian Fognini is an Argentinian executive experienced in business development and integration, along with building teams strongly focused on high performance culture. He has a degree as Certified Public Accountant from University of Buenos Aires, and also obtained a Master’s Degree... Read More →


Eduardo Celino

Coordinator of Market Acces and Sources of Finance
MSMEs, foreign trade, e-commerce
avatar for Arancha González

Arancha González

Executive Director, International Trade Centre (ITC)
Arancha González has served as Executive Director of ITC, the joint agency of the United Nations and the World Trade Organization, since September 2013. Before joining ITC, Ms. González was Chief of Staff to World Trade Organization Director-General Pascal Lamy from 2005 to 2013... Read More →
avatar for Marion Jansen

Marion Jansen

Chief Economist, International Trade Centre
Marion Jansen is the Chief Economist of the International Trade Centre (ITC), responsible for ITC’s flagship publication “SME Competitiveness Outlook” and the institution’s recent publications on e-commerce. She also oversees ITC’s work on export strategies. Marion previously... Read More →
avatar for Mariano Mayer

Mariano Mayer

National Secretary of Entrepreneurs and Small and Medium Enterprises, Ministry of Production, Government of Argentina
In December 2015, Mariano Mayer was appointed as the National Secretary for Entrepreneurs and Small & Medium Enterprises, which belongs to the Minister of Production. In September 2013 he was appointed as the Head of the General Direction of Entrepreneurship of Buenos Aires City... Read More →

Wednesday December 13, 2017 5:30pm - 7:00pm GMT-03
Breakout Room 1 - Belgrano