The WTO Secretariat has published an information note looking at how micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) are being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It notes the impact of supply chain disruptions on MSMEs and the extent to which smaller businesses are represented in the economic sectors hardest hit by the crisis.

The report notes that supply chain disruptions can have a particularly severe impact on MSMEs because sourcing from new suppliers or absorbing price increases is more challenging for a smaller firm with limited supply options and capital.  

The report looks into a wide range of measures taken by governments to support MSMEs. These include measures to address cash flow issues, to expand trade opportunities for MSMEs and to make them more resilient. According to the report, 44 WTO members had introduced such measures by the end of April 2020.

The note describes how international trade provides MSMEs with opportunities to diversify revenue streams and better navigate the COVID-19 crisis.

It outlines that work at the WTO can support small business by promoting the importance of transparency, facilitating the exchange of best practice, highlighting the need for increased access to trade finance and encouraging full implementation of the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement.

Click here for the report: