A new internet platform provides vital trade and market information

December 8th, 2020

The Global Trade Helpdesk is an initiative of renown international Trade organisations. It allows to access relevant information from across a number of valuable trade tools in a single platform and will allow BSOs to provide evidence-based guidance to firms much faster. 

Smaller firms have been among the hardest hit by COVID-19. Demand for their goods and services plummeted when the pandemic disrupted supply chains. In response, chambers of commerce and other business support organizations (BSOs) worldwide have been diligently working to support micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to adapt their business strategies and put them on the path to recovery. And the longer the crisis lasts, businesses are seeking reassurance and information about market opportunities. They are keen to understand how to diversify their market risks and where they could turn to help spur new opportunities for growth and make up for lost time. And because BSO staff were suddenly forced to work from home without access to all their usual resources, digital solutions became pivotal.

Relevant trade information on one platform

A new platform on the Internet responds directly to these needs: The Global Trade Helpdesk is a multi-agency platform that brings together trade and market intelligence from 11 partner agencies. MSMEs and BSOs can use it to help weather the storm. It allows to access relevant information from across a number of valuable trade tools in a single platform. It allows to track changes in demand, export potential, tariffs and regulatory requirements. This tool allows BSOs to provide evidence-based guidance to firms much faster and to share the tool with firms to help them conduct their own research in the future. Access to reliable, timely and relevant information is more critical than ever, with different markets being impacted at different times and to different degrees. With the help of tools like the Global Trade Helpdesk, BSOs are better equipped to confront the challenges of tomorrow and evolving global market conditions.

Support from International Trade Organisations

The number of users of the platform has nearly tripled since it was rolled out in June 2020. The Global Trade Helpdesk is supported by Switzerland. It is an initiative of the International Trade Centre, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and the World Trade Organization with the participation of the African Development Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the International Chamber of Commerce, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, the World Customs Organization, the World Bank Group and the World Intellectual Property Organization.

(Based on an article published by the International Trade Centre ITC, https://www.intracen.org/news/Story-Digital-solutions-empower-business-support-organizations-in-navigating-COVID-hit-global-markets/ )