Making Trade Inclusive: Symposium on SMEs and Trade Adjustment | Asian Development Bank

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Making Trade Inclusive: Symposium on SMEs and Trade Adjustment

Event | 18 January 2017 ADBI, Tokyo, Japan


Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) often struggle to participate in international trade. This symposium examines what can be done to improve SME participation in global markets and what role multilateral trading systems can play. Meanwhile, the Brexit vote and the recent outcome of the US elections can be interpreted as a backlash against globalization and freer trade. It is being argued that not everyone benefits equally from more open trade regimes but this has not been adequately explained. Thus, the symposium will also address how current resistance to freer trade can be overcome and how trade benefits can be made inclusive.

Lucian Cernat is the chief trade economist of the European Commission with almost 20 years of experience in trade policy. He is currently responsible for advising on EU trade policy where he influences over 4.5 trillion euros of EU trade flows annually. His publications are quoted in leading international journals.

Robert Koopman serves as the chief economist and director of the Economic Research and Statistics Division at the World Trade Organization. He provides the secretariat and member countries with analysis and information that promote a deeper understanding of trade and trade policy's role in economic growth and development. Prior to this, he served as the director of operations and chief operating officer for the United States International Trade Commission.

Peter Petri is the Carl J. Shapiro Professor of International Finance in the International Business School and a senior fellow of the East-West Center. From 1994 to 2006, he served as the founding dean of the International Business School. He is also a visiting fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics (Washington) and is one of the leading trade economists that have written on the Trans Pacific Partnership.


The symposium will focus on two topics:

  • The participation of small and medium-sized enterprises in international trade—Robert Koopman will present the 2016 World Trade Report: Levelling the Trading Field for SMEs; and
  • Trade adjustments, in particular, the question of how we can ensure that trade benefits are equally distributed.


About 60 participants including policy makers, academics, outside researchers, and the general public.


The discussions are expected to help participants gain a better understanding of how to make trade more inclusive.



Time of event

14:00 - 17:45