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SUNDAY, December 04, 2022
APEC council draws up plans to rejuvenate region's economic engine – MSMEs

APEC council draws up plans to rejuvenate region's economic engine – MSMEs

THURSDAY, September 29, 2022

The APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) has released its first draft proposal to revitalise and support all-important micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

The proposal will be presented to Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders at their November summit in the hopes of providing some guidelines on business operations to promote MSMEs, said ABAC chairman Kriengkrai Thiennukul during a media interview.

Although the overall economy is gradually recovering, MSMEs are still extremely vulnerable and have been negatively impacted by Covid-19, he pointed out.

“MSMEs are the Apec region’s economic engine. They employ more than 50 per cent of all workers and make up over 97 per cent of entrepreneurs. Given that MSMEs are responsible for between 40 and 60 per cent of GDP, future GDP growth is possible if these small business owners are inspired to realise their full potential,” Kriengkrai noted.

The proposal was compiled from three previous ABAC meetings.

APEC business leaders and leading analysts all agreed that promoting and supporting MSMEs is critical to driving the region’s economic recovery and sustainability.

It will meet the needs of APEC policymakers looking for ways to expand new possibilities, he said.

The recommendations made to the APEC meeting to promote MSMEs will centre on four major areas.

The first proposal is to create an enabling environment for these enterprises to use digital technologies by leveraging public-private partnerships to accelerate the development of digital skills.

Policymakers should subsequently encourage and improve sustainable practices.
The next step is to create a concrete digital market infrastructure ecosystem for supply chain finance.

Lastly, it must assist underrepresented MSME groups such as women, indigenous peoples and youth in overcoming production barriers and constraints, as well as in balancing economic risk diversification.

Kriengkrai emphasised the importance of promoting MSMEs.

He believes the APEC economy will be able to sustain its growth if MSMEs receive adequate funding or access to global markets, as well as increased business knowledge and skills, support for competitiveness growth, digital entry into international markets, coordination with large corporations, and inclusive promotion.