SMEs account for a significant percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) and they are the backbone of most economies and supply chains. Programmes that foster the growth of SMEs to engage successfully in international trade not only drive job growth but provide broad economic benefit and value.
SMEs engaged in global trade either through customer or supply channels, are often more innovative due to their exposure global competition and new concepts.
A report by the European Commission in 2010 found SMEs that export are three times more likely to introduce new products or services than those that are entirely domestically focused.
Given the capacity of SMEs to drive economic development and job creation, as well as to foster innovation, assisting them to expand through global trade should be a top priority for policy-makers and those organisations that support and service trade.
For most SMEs navigating the complexity of doing business globally and maintaining a competitive edge requires skills and knowledge, as well as the ability to draw on a trusted network of skilled professionals with the required competencies to support their business to grow through global trade.
The establishment of the Global Trade Professional Programme (GTP) will benefit both global multinationals and SMEs by providing clear professional development paths and building appropriate skills and knowledge.
While the GTP Programme is aimed at all trade professionals, it provides a significant advantage to SMEs (and supply chains incorporating SMEs) by facilitating the upskilling of individuals and businesses whilst providing access to a global network of trusted certified professionals and service providers.
This is particularly important for SMEs seeking to seeking to invest and grow their business and to respond to changing global market.