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GoTrade: Facilitating cross-border trade

Expanding the reach and benefits of cross-border trade unlocks potential and creates opportunities, connecting people and improving lives. GoTrade aims to open doors to the global marketplace for businesses in frontier markets.

Hamamat, the founder of Hamamat African Beauty in Ghana, had a problem. Customers worldwide could find her products online, but she struggled to deliver them to buyers abroad. Through GoTrade, we helped her overcome trade barriers and connect to consumers outside her country. Her small startup is now a growing global player.

Thanks to e-commerce, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can present their products to the world. But sending them reliably to customers around the globe is a daunting proposition, especially for SMEs in developing countries. The complexities of international shipping, such as customs, can be overwhelming. Inefficient import and export processes and unnecessary 'red tape' are also common problems. Many SMEs are unable to get past these hurdles.

Why we GoTrade

SMEs play a vital role in societies and economies worldwide. A strong SME sector can boost a country's economy and help address social challenges. We aim to help entrepreneurs like Hamamat overcome these obstacles and write their own success stories.

Trade barriers hit developing countries particularly hard. The World Trade Organization (WTO) recognizes bureaucratic delays and red tape as burdens that hamper economic growth. The WTO's landmark Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) aims to reduce these complexities and costs. The United Nations also identifies international trade as an important means to achieving the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The globalization story is not over. When we help countries reduce trade barriers and companies tap into the global marketplace, it's a win-win situation for everyone.

How we GoTrade

GoTrade aims to support cross-border trade and sustainable growth by increasing the number of SMEs and the volume of goods trading internationally. Reducing red tape and streamlining border logistics are proven drivers of sustainable and inclusive economic development.

With our worldwide geographical footprint and a logistics network that covers every industry sector, we leverage our unique position to help SMEs tap into the global marketplace and work with public sector partners to implement the TFA on the ground.

GoTrade focuses on two areas:

Empowering SMEs

In cooperation with the Global Business School Network, our Fellowship program teaches the value of cross-border trade and the skills needed to navigate the global marketplace.

Reducing Red Tape

We work with government agencies and international organizations to break down trade barriers and help cultivate an environment where SMEs can thrive and cross-border trade can grow.

The impact of GoTrade

To channel our resources for maximum effectiveness, we match our strengths with priority global needs and work with leading international organizations, including the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the International Trade Center, and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

In Africa, for example, businesses have played a vital role in the social development of many countries. GoTrade's structured approach toward helping African SMEs participate in the global marketplace is boosting economies and helping countries address social and economic challenges.

Enabling the future of e-commerce in Rwanda

One example is our ongoing project with the governments of Rwanda and Germany. This project seeks to raise awareness about e-commerce and teach SMEs in Rwanda how to build online businesses and ship products abroad. Many companies now understand the world of e-commerce better and can compete internationally with more prominent players.