The APEC member economies’ persistent efforts have paid off with the endorsement of the Boracay Action Agenda to Globalize MSMEs (BAA-MSME) implementation plan by senior officials during the APEC Concluding Senior Officials Meeting (CSOM) held on November 13, 2015 in Pasay City.
“Our collaborative efforts to grow dynamic and global MSMEs are making headway. APEC member economies have managed to move this agenda forward during the previous meetings and more work lies ahead. The implementation plan is a milestone and a necessary step to build on the gains in APEC,” said Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Gregory L. Domingo and APEC Ministers Responsible Trade (MRT) Chair.
The BAA-MSMEs was supported and endorsed by member economies during the ministerial meeting held in Boracay in May this year. The BAA-MSMEs contains specific, concrete, and practical interventions and programs that will facilitate the integration of MSMEs in international markets, through global value chains or as direct exporters of finished goods and services. Likewise the document identifies initiatives geared towards addressing trade and non-trade barriers faced by MSMEs in international trade.
“Member economies will continue to engage in discussions to ensure that all participants benefit from the programs even after the Philippines’ hosting. The implementation plan meets the diverse needs of MSMEs and provides an enabling framework for them to go global. Placing the MSME agenda ‘front and center’ in the discussions in APEC through the BAA-MSMEs will certainly enhance the competitiveness and productivity of our local enterprises and contribute to realizing inclusive growth,” said Domingo.
Introduced during the 3rd Senior Officials Meeting (SOM3), the implementation plan, crafted by the various committees, sub-fora, and working groups, will guide governments of member economies in its efforts to foster greater participation of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in international trade. The BAA-MSMEs implementation plan identifies specific measures and approaches that should be adopted by each government, the private sector, and other stakeholders to support MSME development.
MSMEs constitute the backbone of the 21 APEC member economies. The BAA-MSMEs aim to contribute to the total employment and productivity of APEC economies through trade facilitation, ICT and e-commerce, financing and institutional support.
According to DTI Undersecretary Adrian S. Cristobal, special consideration should be given to MSMEs because they account for an overwhelming majority of business and employment in APEC member economies.
Trade Ministers are set to discuss the implementation plan and consider its adoption or endorsement to APEC leaders during the MRT meeting to be held on November 16 – 17, 2015 in Pasay City.
“Our approach to APEC remains focused on advancing and implementing initiatives that truly provide tangible benefits to Filipinos. Moving forward, our challenge will be ensuring that each government, through the reforms in internal policies, will collaborate with the private sector, the APEC Business Advisory Council, and other APEC groups to maximize the gains of our trade engagements and strengthened economic relations. Building global MSMEs should be a collective effort of all member economies,” concluded Cristobal.
—From the Department of Trade and Industry