Key APEC achievement of the week: strengthening SMEs

The 45th APEC Small and Medium Enterprises Working Group Meeting indicated the important role of small- and medium-sized enterprises in spurring economic growth, especially in the Asia-Pacific, therefore, APEC economies discussed solutions to promote the development of SMEs in the region. 

The APEC Small and Medium Enterprises Working Group Meeting took place in Ho Chi Minh City on September 13. Source: Vietnam News
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Following the APEC 2017 Startups Forum yesterday, today, the 45th APEC Small and Medium Enterprises Working Group Meeting took place in Ho Chi Minh City, continuing the discussions of APEC economies on providing SMEs with timely support in many aspects.

Vietnam proposed ideas to provide startups with further incentives and this proposal will be considered one of the main results of the APEC SME Ministerial Meeting this year.

Nguyen Hoa Cuong, deputy director of the Ministry of Planning and Investment's (MPI) Business Development Department cum chair of APEC SMEs Working Group, said that the initiative to support SMEs expressed the wish of the Vietnamese government to develop SMEs.

In his opening speech at the meeting, Dang Huy Dong, MPI Deputy Minister, said that the APEC has become an active bloc and is now deeply integrated into the international economy. The number of SMEs accounts for 98 per cent of all enterprises in this region and they play an important role in developing the regional economy as well as bringing about job opportunities.

However, many SMEs are facing difficulties due to their limited competitive capacity. APEC economies must find ways to enhance administration, promote technological innovation, approach new sources of funding, find new markets, and ensure a favourable business environment. Especially, Industry 4.0 innovations promise to bring about more chances for SMEs’ strong and rapid development.

Delegates from APEC economies discussed solutions for SMEs to approach various financial sources and favourable markets and improving the business ecosystem. They also discussed potential cooperation opportunities and clarified the priority fields with the aim of enhancing the APEC region’s competitive capacity.

By Trang Vu