Magazine article International Trade Forum

Let's Unleash the Potential of Youth in Global Trade

Magazine article International Trade Forum

Let's Unleash the Potential of Youth in Global Trade

Article excerpt

There are 1.3 billion youth in the world today and 1 billion of them live in the developing world. Worryingly, more than half of young people in developing countries are unemployed. With growing global economic unrest, providing jobs and training for youth is one of the major challenges of our times.

Not only is youth unemployment a roadblock for current and future economic growth and international trade, it also prevents societies from harnessing their future knowledge and skills. Let's not forget that today's youth is tomorrow's workforce.

Several studies have indicated that, compared to other demographic groups, youth are often more creative than their parents' generation and as such can hold the key to their societies economic success.

It is therefore crucial to empower youth with the needed financial and other tools --including the right technologies--as well as instilling in them entrepreneurial attitudes, skills and knowledge.

What is needed for many youth today are opportunities to participate in global trade. Businesses, governments and trade-support institutions must step up their efforts to ensure greater inclusion of youth in international markets and global value chains. A good starting point would be to strengthen and bolster support for youth-led micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). Starting a business today can be expensive and entrepreneurs often face numerous obstacles.

These include power dynamics; social-networking constraints; discrimination based on age, gender or race; lack of access to assets and capital; low levels of education, skill and experience; and unfavourable administrative and regulatory frameworks. …

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