The "Innovation Service Network" created by AABI will gather information about companies seeking cross-border cooperation, investment, marketing assistance or other business support and will match them with a member of the network who can provide the relevant know-how. By the end of 2018, AABI expects that at least 20 micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) will have benefited from the Innovation Service Network initiative.
WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo said: “This project will help small businesses to expand their knowledge and their horizons. I congratulate AABI on this idea and we look forward to seeing it implemented. I am very pleased to see the Small Business Champions initiative helping to develop new trade opportunities for MSMEs in Asia."
ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO said: “It is crucial that small business shares in the gains of Asia’s strong economic and trade growth. I congratulate AABI for this fantastic initiative that demonstrates the commitment of business to a more inclusive trading system.”
The ICC-WTO Small Business Champions initiative provides a platform for companies and private sector organizations around the world to propose innovative, practical ideas designed to encourage MSMEs to do business across borders. The call for proposals for the initiative was closed in December 2017. The ICC and WTO are exploring the possibility of running a second call for proposals, in light of the interest that has been generated by the initiative.
The announcement of this proposal brings the total number of selected proposals to seven. The first six successful proposals were submitted by Google, the Union of Chambers of Commerce of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Argentina’s Chamber of Commerce and Services and Mercado Libre, the Institute of Export and International Trade (UK), eBay and Brazil's National Confederation of Industry. Once the projects have been successfully completed, the businesses will be recognized as ICC-WTO Small Business Champions.