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Poverty and inequality

SMEs, Trade, and Value Chains

Trade and value chains underpin the economic dimension of sustainable development and have the capacity to steer a positive change towards more resilient, inclusive, and sustainable economies. On the other hand, overlapping geopolitical instabilities and environmental risks jeopardize the potential of trade and value chains and test the resilience of existing economic structures. Further exacerbated by the limits of economic structures and governance systems, trade and value chains in the region have been disrupted significantly over the last few years.

Inclusive Growth Team supports EECA countries to reverse this trend and build resilient economies by promoting private sector development and structural transformation through economic diversification, future-proof productive capacities, and sustainable value chains with the potential for job creation.

For this purpose, we work in the following areas:

Policy advice: UNDP supports policymakers in creating an enabling environment for the burgeoning of value chains that are (i) employment rich (decent jobs), allowing for upward mobility; (ii) competitive, with a shift from vertically specialized value chains towards value chains with greater added value; (iii) sustainable and gender-responsive, using the value chains with added value for inclusive and resilient societies.

Capacity-building: UNDP partners with governments, trade support organizations, or businesses to support economic and trade diversification and regional integration efforts. While productive capacities enable stronger employment potential with an emphasis on green and inclusive value chains, it is equally crucial for businesses to explore and capture emerging trade and export opportunities. For this reason, UNDP supports the production and dissemination of trade and market intelligence as a public good in the region. Better knowledge infrastructures will enable businesses to follow emerging markets and tap into previously unexplored foreign markets.

Technical Assistance: In addition to policy guidance and capacity-building programmes, UNDP engages with businesses and trade actors on the ground through helping them adapt their production capacities according to the international quality standards. We are also providing technical assistance to regional bodies and working groups for cooperation and to build a unified stance in international forums regarding food safety and quality standards.