How the WTO agreements will benefit local entrepreneurs #MC10Nairobi

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Woman making a delicious meal. Image from http://www.evejorgensenart.com/album/eve-jorgensen-art/islander-woman-cooking-jpg/

Carol is a fresh Kenyan graduate, she is well aware that it may be a while before she gets proper formal employment. So, in the meantime, she has decided to go the entrepreneur’s way. She uses the skills her grandmother taught her to prepare indigenous home cooked meals for the busy Nairobi bachelors and spinsters who are health conscious and want a balanced organic diet but don’t have time to cook owing to the hectic demands of the corporate world.

 

Woman making a delicious meal. Image from http://www.evejorgensenart.com/album/eve-jorgensen-art/islander-woman-cooking-jpg/
Woman making a delicious meal. Image from http://www.evejorgensenart.com/album/eve-jorgensen-art/islander-woman-cooking-jpg/

If all goes well, entrepreneurship may end up being Carol’s life career and open up employment opportunities for her peers.

We live in a world where there is new stuff being invented, but there has also been constant improvement on old ways of doing things and innovation of products and services invented ages ago.

Take for example, Carol’s catering venture may not be new, it is something that has been carried out in varied ways by different communities for centuries. But her idea to meet the needs of a specific emerging market is. It shows the way things evolve and how people quickly adopt to changes.

This is the essence of entrepreneurship. It can be centered on discovering new things or simply reinventing the wheel. Whichever the case, it’s all about keenly observing people’s needs and wants so as to prepare a customized solution with added value.

Trade stimulates such innovation because it facilitates interaction and the development of new ideas. When people meet at the market place to exchange goods and services, they get to gather valuable feedback on what needs to be improved and how.

To satisfy customers’ needs, traders then seeks measures and put in resources to improve their products and services, with an outlook on reaping great benefits such as financial growth and business development across new markets.

When traders face hindrances to this process, such as barriers against accessing new markets across borders, high cost of transporting their goods and heavy taxation or retrogressive policies, then innovation is put on the back burner. Vibrant trade in turn becomes unappealing and very weak thus affecting economic growth and the development of a nation.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) exists to keep this from happening. It helps producers of goods and services, exporters, and importers conduct their business, while allowing governments to meet social and environmental objectives.

This year the WTO’s top decision making body will convene in Nairobi for the 10th Ministerial Conference to make resolutions on various issues that will aid in the progression of a more robust and modernised trading system for its members.  We have talked about how Africa’s Businesses Benefit from the WTO 10th Ministerial Conference  let us look at local entreprenuers like Carol.

For the entrepreneurs like Carol, the WTO MC10 outcomes would certainly be very beneficial owing to the following aspects;

1. The women and youthful entrepreneurs in Less Developed Countries (LDC’s) will receive more support to encourage innovation and trade across borders.

2. New ideas and creativity will be efficiently protected through bringing to effect policies that govern an organized and reliable system of intellectual property rights.

3. Barriers that affect efficient communication, transportation and cost of doing business will be brought down through trade facilitation.

4. Creation of the envisioned Free Trade Area (FTA) will soon be possible through WTO’s harmonizing effect and the Multilateral Trading System (MTS). This will enhance Africa’s efforts to increased regional and continental trade, meaning innovators will be able to able to have a share of the global trade pie without discrimination and will also experience fair competition among many other benefits.

5. A boost to trade and investment with fair and equal treatment will see to it that individuals are able to make a decent living and contribute towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) while doing what they enjoy.

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