Mongolian President, ITC head: Future of trade driven by small businesses, with focus on green and digital
(Ulaanbaatar/Geneva) – Mongolian President Khurelsukh Ukhnaa and Executive Director of the International Trade Centre Pamela Coke-Hamilton opened the World Export Development Forum (WEDF) on 27 June in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
The theme of the conference is diversify with green and digital trade – with a focus on small businesses – to build back from the four crises of COVID-19, conflict, climate change and cost-of-living increases.
That was the main message from the high-level official opening of the conference, organized by ITC and the Government of Mongolia, in partnership with UN Mongolia.
Khurelsukh Ukhnaa, President of Mongolia, said: ‘It is imperative to diversify global trade and economic relations in a greener, organic, and digital manner. We must embrace advanced technologies and innovations, create new opportunities for entrepreneurs and wealth creators, enhance competitiveness, and provide equal opportunities.’
Pamela Coke-Hamilton, ITC Executive Director, said: ‘By ensuring that small, women- and youth-led businesses are at the forefront of the conference, we’re building a stronger foundation for greater resilience.’
She added that WEDF can help set a new agenda for small business in global trade, to reshape the world of trade into one that is more inclusive, sustainable and connected.
The opening takes place on UN Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day, which highlights the role of small businesses in driving trade-led development, worldwide. Small firms make up 90% of all businesses worldwide, and more than half of all jobs.
WEDF is the ITC annual flagship event, taking place for the first time since 2019. While the host and theme change every year, the focus of the conference remains the same: talk trade, do business and drive development. The theme this year is diversifying with green and digital trade.
The three-day conference covers ways to improve regional connectivity for landlocked developing countries, of which Mongolia is the second biggest; green business solutions developed by young entrepreneurs, who compete in a global pitch contest; the role of women entrepreneurs in driving sustainable economic growth; and business-to-business meetings in information communications technologies, textiles and leather, including for Mongolian entrepreneurs to connect with buyers from the region and beyond.
Now in its 20th edition, the conference is unique for bringing together the voice of small business, women, young entrepreneurs, policymakers and international organizations.
About the International Trade Centre - The International Trade Centre is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. ITC assists small and medium-sized enterprises in developing and transition economies to become more competitive in global markets, thereby contributing to sustainable economic development within the frameworks of the Aid-for-Trade agenda and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
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