By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
The APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) Philippines is working on the development of a one-stop shop SME Marketplace to attain the goal of inclusive growth.
ABAC has presented MSME development as priority work areas during a meeting with Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez following the second ABAC meeting for 2017 last April 25-29 in Seoul, Korea.
“This is a very welcome development and a boost to the MSMEs (micro small and medium enterprises) that comprise 99.5% of the establishments in the country,” said Lopez.
“The DTI has already been laying the groundwork for strengthening MSMEs, especially with the participation of the youth and women. Now as we chair ASEAN this 2017, we likewise put the spotlight on MSMEs and entrepreneurship, as well as the sector’s integration in the global value chains.”
APEC Philippines, through DTI, is working on the development of an APEC SME Marketplace as a one-stop shop for SMEs in the region. This online portal is envisioned to provide useful information such as the MSME policies and regimes in different economies. Ultimately, the project aims to serve as a platform for SMEs to access and tap into global markets and transact with other players in the region.
According to ABAC Philippines Chair Tomas Alcantara, it is important to take advantage of this opportunity and ensure that SMEs in the country will optimize use and benefit from the system.
“ABAC PH’s first project will help advance MSMEs interests by developing a pilot Philippine SME Marketplace. We are trying to make concrete outcomes by facilitating linkages between SMEs and domestic market first, then to two or more international markets. After that to ASEAN, eventually to APEC, and then finally, the global market,” said Alcantara, who once served as DTI undersecretary and managing head of the Board of Investments.