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The WTO Ministerial Conference is held every two years and the Philippines has been an advocate of the SME sector in these high-level meetings. At the 8th Ministerial Conference held in 2011, the Philippines has urged the WTO to prioritize small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the ongoing trade talks as they are most vulnerable to market uncertainties.  Similarly at the 9th Ministerial Conference, the Bali Package, which the Philippines negotiated, was designed to streamline trade and benefit the Philippines’ SMEs, particularly exporters. 

DTI Secretary Gregory Domingo’s participation at the recently held WTO Public Forum has stimulated the discussion on the growing importance of MSMEs in trade. Domingo was part of the WTO Public Forum Plenary Session on “Making Trade Work for Business” together with WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo, and private sector representatives. The debate particularly focused on the relationship between trade and business, including small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and agribusiness.

 
The Philippines likewise organized a working session on "Fostering the Participation of MSMEs in Regional and Global Markets” which further provided clarity on how global collaboration, with the WTO at the forefront, would be a critical element in making trade work for ALL."                             
 
The public forum is the WTO’s largest annual outreach event, which provides a platform for participants to discuss the latest developments in world trade and to propose ways of enhancing the multilateral trading system. The week-long event regularly attracts over 1,500 representatives from civil society, academia, business, the media, governments, parliamentarians, and inter-governmental organizations.



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