For some time, it was possible to win over trade sceptics by providing explicit numbers reflecting the losses from protectionism. Now it seems that the larger public has become indifferent to evidence-based debates. This column argues for increased use of micro-evidence and firm-level data in policy debates to make the case for trade. By linking trade to personal well-being, an increased focus on micro-economic evidence can generate stronger narratives and greater credibility among voters.

The Business 20 (B20) is the official G20 dialogue with the global business community. On September 4 2016, the leading German business associations BDI, BDA, and DIHK, mandated by the German Chancellery, assumed the B20 presidency. Chair of B20 Germany is Dr. Jürgen Heraeus.

This year’s SME Competitiveness Outlook focuses on making the most of standards and regulations for the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The report combines data analysis, academic insights, thought leader opinions and case studies to provide guidance for policymakers, SME managers and standard setters.

The collection of entrepreneurship indicators presented in Entrepreneurship at a Glance is the result of the OECD-Eurostat Entrepreneurship Indicators Programme (EIP). The programme, started in 2006, was the first attempt to compile and publish international data on entrepreneurship from official government statistical sources.

The World Trade Board findings conclude that there is significant potential to use the World Trade Symposium as a vehicle to drive adoption of Legal Entity Identifiers to improve transparency, digitisation, onboarding and risk management along the supply chain with a view to enabling more inclusive trade for global SMEs.

Recent years have witnessed remarkable developments in the digital economy, creating unprecedented opportunities for cross-border trade. The Internet is enabling micro, small and medium-sized businesses (“MSMEs”) to access global markets unlike ever before. Studies show that MSMEs that use on-line platforms are around ve times more likely to export than those in the traditional economy.

The World Trade Report is an annual publication that aims to deepen understanding about trends in trade, trade policy issues and the multilateral trading system.

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Proponents of trade agreements argue that such agreements open markets to businesses of all sizes and that simplifying customs and promoting e-commerce can especially help small businesses. But critics of trade agreements cite the relatively high share of total exports by large firms as an indication that large firms—and their investors—are the main beneficiaries of open markets. This Policy Brief examines the evidence for these conflicting claims and shows that exports from both small and large firms are boosted when trade barriers are reduced.

This report aims to deepen the understanding of barriers to and incentives for the acceptance and use
of electronic payments, from the perspective of micro, small and medium retailers (merchants).

The work of the B20 China SME Development Taskforce builds on that of the B20 Turkey 2015, where the Taskforce then had identified key challenges to SME development and the G20 endorsed a number of recommendations as a consequence. In particular 2015 saw the creation of the World SME Forum (WSF). Building on last year’s outcome together with the G20 China priorities this year, the working group that includes the chair’s deputy, co-chairs, Accenture as the knowledge partner and the WSF as the network partner generated a list of potential policy recommendations that Taskforce members prioritized and narrowed through a series of in-person and teleconference meeting throughout 2016.

The B20 Turkey Presidency in 2015 offered an important contribution to unlocking opportunities for SME financing in GVCs, and this work is being carried on by the B20 China Presidency this year to deepen our understanding of what actions are required and how they can be implemented. Crucially, this requires a comprehensive and coordinated G20 approach in which public and private sectors have complementary roles to play.

Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs 2016 provides a wealth of information on debt, equity, asset-based nance, and framework conditions for SME and entrepreneurship nance, complemented with a review of recent policy measures to support access to nance in 37 countries.

E-commerce is transforming the global business landscape at an unprecedented speed, and successful e- commerce requires the ability to embrace change. Entrepreneurs working in e-commerce today – particularly the cross-border variety – must master new business techniques along with time-tried precepts of international trade.

The availability of nance is essential for a healthy trading system. Today, up to 80 per cent of global trade is supported by some sort of nancing or credit insurance. However, there are signi cant gaps in provision and therefore many companies cannot access the nancial tools that they need. Without adequate trade nance, opportunities for growth and development are missed; businesses are deprived of the fuel they need to trade and expand.

Read eBay’s Small Online Business Growth Report to learn how globalization and technology affect small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), how exporting helps SMEs succeed, and more

UPS’s European SME Exporting Insights study was inspired by a desire to help SMEs prosper as Europe recovers from the global nancial crisis. With access to communications and logistics technology and services that simply weren’t available to SMEs two decades ago, the time has arrived for them to take full advantage of the opportunity to compete internationally.

In 2015 the B20 Financing Growth Taskforce (FGTF) focused on two overarching themes: 1) facilitating financial inclusion with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and 2) improving global financial regulation.