Opening Of 46th APEC SME Working Group Meeting

Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, MSME's account for over 97 percent of all enterprises in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies, and 20 to 50 percent of the Gross Domestic Product across the region. However, it is not proportionate to the direct exports contributed by MSME export performance and for them to take advantage of the growth potential from exporting and through trade liberalisation. Hence, they must continue the efforts, and take bold steps in transforming their business landscape into an avenue that is truly conducive and enable their business to grow and expand, particularly in encouraging their participation in the global value chain. This was among the matters highlighted by Awang Haji Kamaludin bin Haji Bungsu, the Permanent Secretary for Manpower and SHENA at the Energy and Industry Department, at the opening of the 46th APEC SME Working Group Meeting (APEC SMEWG), yesterday morning at the International Convention Centre in Berakas.

According to Awang Haji Kamaludin, as MSMEs take a centre stage in our economic development agenda, it has become more apparent and evident that department's works must lead towards ensuring that all spectrums of MSME development are being taken into account, and their issues are addresses within the department's development initiatives. He added that with the ever-growing global market opportunities and fast-increasing competition it is crucial that innovation and productivity is spurred among the MSMEs, digital capability and connectivity is enhanced through robust infrastructure, and policy as well as regulatory framework is conducive. Apart from that, access to international market should also be widened and made easy through elimination of trade barriers, access to funding platforms is expanded and capacity development is strengthened to allow for greater competitiveness and resilience of the MSMEs take part in the global value chain.

The meeting discussed the latest status and progress of regional projects in MSME's development in alignment with APEC SMEWG strategic action plan 2012-2020. The action plan includes focus on important pillars such as entrepreneurship; innovation and the internet and digital economy; financing for business expansion and capability development; inclusive business ecosystem that supports SME growth and market access for MSME's. The meeting is chaired by Nguyen Hoa Guong, Deputy Director General of the Agency for Enterprise Development from the Ministry of Planning and Investment, Vietnam. The 2-day meeting is jointly organised by the Energy and Industry Department and Darussalam Enterprise DARe.

Source: Radio Television Brunei

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