|APEC launches a marketplace to help MSMEs to connect with compatible production and supply chain partners. - Photo vietnamnet.vn|
APEC is showcasing small firms from member economies and helping them to connect with compatible production and supply chain partners. It also details tariffs and trade regulations as well as provides a portal to support services to help small businesses in the region build their trading operations.
Philippine Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said there was a huge range of market opportunities for micro enterprises in the Asia-Pacific, particularly with advances in mobile technology and e-commerce.
“The APEC Marketplace will make it easier for small businesses to trade and, in the process, boost their competitiveness and growth capacity in the region,” Lopez said. “The benefits of wider participation in trade could be very significant for APEC economies and our people’s livelihoods.”
The platform caters to small firms that account for nearly all businesses and the majority of employment in the APEC region, and have substantial room for export growth. They range from handicraft suppliers in Luzon, to auto and machinery parts producers in Ohio, Nagoya and HCM City, to coffee growers and processors in the highlands of Papua New Guinea.
APEC economies aim to grow the APEC Marketplace’s directory of small businesses with export potential and, in turn, open up market opportunities for these firms in the Asia-Pacific through business matching with companies seeking value-adding goods and services suppliers.
This is part of APEC’s implementation of the Iloilo Initiative for growing global micro, small and medium enterprises, endorsed by the region’s SME ministers in 2015 and supported by parallel efforts underway to unlock small business trade.
“Micro enterprises have to be interconnected with the rest of the world as it has become one village. We don’t want small businesses and the communities that depend on them to be left behind,” said Papua New Guinea’s Trade, Commerce and Industry Minister Wera Mori.
“Now that we are in the digital age, people must be enabled to come out from local areas and export what they can produce domestically to markets in the Asia-Pacific and beyond,” he said. “We are working in APEC to help people find formal employment through small businesses that are developed and integrated.”
APEC ministers and officials will take complementary steps to facilitate women’s entrepreneurship and small business trade during the APEC Women and the Economy Forum in Hue City from September 26-29.