From the Department of Trade and Industry
Boracay, Aklan, May 22, 2015 – “Inclusion of micro and small enterprises (MSEs) must not just be an afterthought, not just a by-the-way, and not just in the sidelines. MSEs must be the prism through the facets of which light is shed on policies and actions that affect global trade. Anything less, and the shared enterprise to promote economic integration and facilitate free trade toward the attainment of equitable and inclusive growth will be hard put to prosper,” Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary and Gregory L. Domingo stated.
The Philippines has been strongly advocating for the interests of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in global and regional trade.
Sec. Domingo, who is also APEC 2015 MRT Chair, explained that ‘MSEs are integral parts in our pursuit to enhance regional economic integration and in the attainment of equitable and inclusive growth. When MSEs, which comprise the bulk of manufacturing and commercial establishments, are effectively sidelined, equitable and inclusive growth becomes a myth.’
As the Philippines hosts Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2015, the country has been given the opportunity and privilege to move forward its initiatives through an action agenda for micro and small enterprises. By way of this action-oriented initiative, the Philippines aims to address the barriers faced by MSMEs in international trade and facilitate their access to regional and global markets with particular focus on micro and small enterprises.
“Going forward, equitable and inclusive growth can only be attained when an enabling environment promotes the full participation of MSEs in global trade. Clearly, at a minimum, the policies and the attendant rules and regulations for the facilitation of trade and investment have to be revised and enhanced. More importantly, trade policy makers must transition to a mindset that is fully sensitized to the plight of MSEs,” Secretary Domingo stressed.
The Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT) will be held from 23 to 24 May in Boracay, Aklan, where 21 APEC Trade Ministers will discuss concrete outcomes for 2015 to advance the participation of MSMEs in regional and global markets. They will also be discussing matters that seek to enhance the regional economic integration agenda such as the efforts in line with the achievement of the Bogor Goals, and APEC’s work on the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP).
Sec. Domingo is optimistic that his fellow APEC Trade Ministers will fully support the action agenda for MSEs and work together to shepherd APEC’s work towards areas where cooperation among the member economies will be truly meaningful and relevant.