New Report Details How Digital Trade Empowers Small Businesses in the Indo-Pacific

Sep 8, 2022

Los Angeles — The National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) Foundation’s Global Innovation Forum (GIF) today released a new report, “Making Small Businesses Mighty,” sharing insights from Indo-Pacific small businesses about the importance of digital trade and the potential impact of a digital trade agreement in the region.

Released alongside the first in-person Ministerial meeting of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), the report explores how IPEF can establish a strong foundation to support small business exporters by establishing high-standard digital rules across the region. The report also highlights the biggest barriers currently faced by Indo-Pacific small exporters, from challenges navigating tariffs and customs procedures to regulatory uncertainty, and how IPEF would help alleviate many of them.

“IPEF offers an important opportunity to foster deliverables that support small business growth and resilience in the global marketplace,” said Jamaica Gayle, Executive Director, Global Innovation Forum. “Small businesses from the United States and across the Indo-Pacific see the economic potential of trade in the region, but need high-standard digital trade and trade facilitation commitments to make it easier for them to do business abroad.”

Key findings from the report include:

  • Small business exporters expect to see a 35% increase in export sales.
  • The U.S. economic output could increase by $72 billion, as a result of making it easier to access Indo-Pacific markets.
  • On average, Indo-Pacific small businesses surveyed would add 22 jobs to accommodate the increase in export sales over the next 3 years.

The conclusions in this report were derived from interviews with a select group of small businesses from across the region as well as a survey of 500 small businesses headquartered in seven Indo-Pacific markets: the United States, Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and Vietnam.

The full report can be found here:


About the Global Innovation Forum (GIF)

The Global Innovation Forum is a non-profit effort to connect small businesses and policymakers to foster an inclusive policy landscape that enables companies of all sizes to innovate, trade, and engage in the global economy. GIF works with a global network of thousands of small businesses, government officials, civil society, and private sector leaders to deliver actionable insights and impactful programs to emphasize how technology and trade policies can advance resilience and inclusive growth.

As an educational project of the 501(c)(3) National Foreign Trade Council Foundation, GIF connects small businesses and policymakers to bridge the gap between big-picture trade policy and the experiences of entrepreneurs, workers, and people.