World Trade Center Mumbai organised a webinar on ‘‘Global Trade Transformation in the Post-Pandemic World’’ to mark World Trade Day 2021 and create awareness about the emerging business opportunities for small enterprises.
World Trade Week is the flagship event of WTC Mumbai organised every year across Maharashtra to create awareness about importance of international trade for MSMEs and regional economic development. This year, on account of the pandemic, we organised this virtual program to mark World Trade Day 2021.
The program was addressed by Mr. Andrew Wilson, Global Policy Director - International Chamber of Commerce and Mr. Abhijit Sengupta, Senior Economist, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Mr. Siddhartha Rastogi, Expert – Behavioural Finance and Capital Markets moderated the session.
Mr. Rastogi informed that MSMEs can explore business opportunities in manufacturing of critical components for automobiles, bicycles and electronics, for which there is scarcity in the global market. MSMEs can also meet pent up demand for textiles, fashion and travel goods once economic condition normalizes.
Mr. Wilson remarked, “Policymakers should not be complacent about the health of the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). Some Latin American countries that have withdrawn stimulus measures early have witnessed renewed stress and defaults by MSME borrowers. When stimulus measures are withdrawn, banks will again become risk averse in lending to small enterprises. Even now, around 30-40% of the MSMEs are pessimistic about business outlook. Small enterprises are still struggling with weak balance sheets, huge burden of debt, unpaid invoices.”
Highlighting the initiatives of ICC to empower MSMEs, Mr. Wilson said, “We wish to support MSMEs in India and elsewhere through our app Trade Now, which facilitates access to trade finance. ICC also runs dedicated programs for capacity building to support MSMEs navigate through the challenging global trade environment.”
In his remarks, Mr. Sengupta pointed out, “AIIB has proposed a USD 500 million program for India to Creating a Coordinated and Responsive Indian Social Protection System (CCRISP). The program will help national and state governments in India to modernize social protection systems for informal workers, migrant workers and returnee migrant workers. This program is proposed under the COVID-19 Crisis Recovery Facility of AIIB and it is co-financed with the World Bank.”
Earlier in his welcome address, Mr. Vijay Kalantri, Chairman, MVIRDC World Trade Center Mumbai suggested multilateral institutions such as WTO and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) to offer capacity building programs for MSMEs in developing countries and Least Developed Countries.
Capt. Somesh Batra, Vice Chairman, MVIRDC World Trade Center Mumbai proposed vote of thanks for the event. Speaking on this occasion, Ms. Rupa Naik, Executive Director, MVIRDC World Trade Center Mumbai suggested ICC to collaborate with WTC Mumbai in connecting local businesses to the global market. Ms. Naik informed about wetrade.org, which is the new age digital platform launched by WTC Mumbai to connect Indian MSMEs to global market.
The program was attended by members of trade & industry, consular corps, financial institutions and academia.