SMEWG Resources

Regulatory Reform – Case Studies on Improving the Business Environment for SMEs

The report includes four case studies which evaluate the role of regulatory reforms in creating a proper business environment supporting SMEs: 1) dedicated agencies to assist SMEs with growth, development, compliance and internationalization; 2) agencies and institutions that specialize in supporting SME finance; 3) regulatory tiering; and 4) SME-friendly Regulatory Impact Assessments (RIA).

Study on Driving Economic Growth Through Cross-Border E-Commerce in APEC: Empowering Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and Eliminating Barriers

The 2015 APEC Business Advisory Council and USC Marshall School of Business report focused on engaging SMEs in cross-border e-commerce. They conducted first hand research across the 21 APEC economies to discover the enhancers and chokepoints unique to each economy. APEC and each member governments must focus to engage and support SMEs. An APEC wide framework addressing cross-border e-commerce is needed; sharing of best practices and pathfinder approaches is encouraged; and effort is required to help SMEs capacity build

APEC-Canada Growing Business Partnership

Initiative funded by Canada that intended to foster economic growth and reduce poverty in APEC developing economies by building the potential of MSMEs and aspiring entrepreneurs. The initiative has 2 components: C$2M APEC MSME Sub-Fund and C$2.49M for research and training project under the coordination of Asia Pacific Foundation. Asia Pacific Foundation collaborates with APEC in the following areas: (i) Sharing best practices, (ii) Finding common points on project collaboration, (iii) Highlighting new ideas to explore and expand, (iv) Identifying common interests and build on them, (vi) Extending and complimenting other projects with common goals.

Regulatory Issues Affecting Trade and Supply Chain Finance and SME Access

Supply chain finance could be understood as structured trade financing, which ensured that the financial institution’s risk throughout the supply chain were covered and mitigated. The PSU’s paper argues that this form of financing could be used more widely to help fund SMEs because the transactions financing and structuring relies more on the asset that is exported rather than on balance sheets, which are weak for many SMEs. However, for asset‐based lending to be more commonly available in APEC, economies need to first implement legal and regulatory reforms to facilitate financing for movable assets.

Regulatory Issues Affecting Trade and Supply Chain Finance

Supply chain finance could be understood as structured trade financing, which ensured that the financial institution’s risk throughout the supply chain were covered and mitigated. The PSU’s paper argues that this form of financing could be used more widely to help fund SMEs because the transactions financing and structuring relies more on the asset that is exported rather than on balance sheets, which are weak for many SMEs. However, for asset‐based lending to be more commonly available in APEC, economies need to first implement legal and regulatory reforms to facilitate financing for movable assets.

Integrating SMEs into Global Value Chains – Policy Principles and Best Practices

The PSU presented on the integration of SMEs into global value chains (GVCs) and stated that despite the huge barriers that SMEs faced in partaking in GVCs, the benefits were greater.

SMEs Participation in the Global Value Chains All-In-One Electronic Supply Chain

ABAC presented on the development of the All in One e-Commerce Platform which consolidated most important business operations. It helped SMEs to lower entry barriers for startups, reach billions of customers, lower operating costs, shorten the supply chain, speedup turnovers, improve business margins, etc.

Discussion Guide on Global Supply Chains

To guide discussion on global supply chains, the SMEWG Chair briefed on recent leaders and ministers’ relevant instructions and statements, summary of the PSU paper and its recommendations on supporting SMEs.

Removing Barriers to SME Access to International Markets

This OECD document provided extensive details and discussions on the role of internal and external trade barriers to SMEs internationalization and on measures to remove them.

Asia Pacific SME Products International Fair Exhibition Guide - Sample Application Form

SME Internationalization Different Aspects and Related Issues

International activities of SMEs included all forms of transferring goods and services across border. Although exporting is the most common form of SMEs internationalization, data on exporting SMEs was not available for most APEC economies. Furthermore, measuring SME internationalization was a challenging task – besides gaps in SME export data, the other internationalization activities were usually not tracked or included in official statistics.

Workshop on APEC SME Business Matching and Internship Consortium for Global Value Chain Integration 2015

It was among the five workshops held in Atlanta under the theme Supply Chain Capacity Building for SMEs as mentioned above. This workshop had three major objectives: (1) Jumpstart information exchange; (2) Create SME GVC business matching and internship consortium; (3) Develop an online platform for communication and information exchange. An important deliverable was the contribution to the operationalization of an online platform, the APEC MSME Marketplace

Connecting SMEs to Global Supply Chains: Supply Chain Management, Cold Chain Storage and Technical Regulations 2015

The Global Supply Chain Event was held on June 8-9 in Atlanta, the United States. It focused on three sectors deemed critical to national economies: agriculture, food processing and healthcare products, with five simultaneous workshops held.

Independent Assessment of the SMEWG

The presentation briefed on the scope, methodologies and initial findings of the 2015 independent assessment on the SMEWG.

SME Internationalization and Measurement

The PSU study aimed to find out if PSU’s model fit to Korean SMEs, what problems could arise in the course of measurement and data collection, and if there were any lessons to be considered for the later project. The study targeted 100 exporting/importing Korean SMEs in three industries such as electronics (including IT), automobiles/parts, and textile/apparels.

Progress Report on APEC Start Ups Conference III 2014 - Globalization Thinking to Make Global Business

The project sought to consolidate and expand the start‐up culture and interaction between APEC economies, improving the ecosystem for start‐ups. Start‐ups interacted with corporations, investors, Business incubators ‐ accelerators and policymakers, so that all key factors were covered.

Initiative to Facilitate the Exploitation of IPRs and Innovation in SMEs

The IPEG initiative to “Facilitate the Exploitation of IPRs and Innovation in SMEs” was approved at the 38th IPEG meeting. Its goal was to identify best practices for IP support strategies, provide consultations on challenges faced within each APEC economy, and enhance the competitiveness of SMEs through important surveys and consultations conducted in APEC economies, as well as through research supported by APEC funds.

Sub-Committee on Standards and Conformance

Proposed SCSC Work Plan in Support of SMEWGSCSC Collaboration

SCSC created the Friends of the Chair Group for SCSC‐SMEWG Collaboration. SCSC proposed the Work Plan in support of SMEWG – SCSC collaboration for SMEWG’s comment. The

Work Plan comprised three components: exchanging information on packaging and labelling requirements, promoting good regulatory practices, sharing standards and conformance learning materials, and capacity building for business, especially SMEs.

Financial Literacy and SMEs in APEC

The SMEWG Chair presented a preliminary study on financial literacy and SMEs in the APEC region and stated the need for tailored financial education programs in the APEC region.

Financing APEC SME Innovation Through Venture Capital Workshop

Thailand announced the Financing APEC SME Innovation through Venture Capital workshop to take place on June 19-20, 2014 in Bangkok, Thailand, aiming to improve access to finance for innovative APEC SMEs through Venture Capital investment.

Financing APEC SME Innovation Workshop: Identifying Government Policies that Promote Venture Capital Investment in APEC Economies

The APEC workshop on Financing APEC SME Innovation was conducted on June 18th and

19th in Bangkok, Thailand.  Policy makers, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs spoke on the importance of understanding the challenges related to growing venture capital markets in APEC economies, so as to allow innovative APEC SMEs greater access to financing. The workshop ended by devising a specific set of policy recommendations to be enacted APEC-wide for both developed and developing member economies in order to encourage

both domestic and cross-border venture capitalist investment, with a focus on encouraging venture capitalist market growth in latecomer economies.

Financing APEC SME Innovation Workshop: Identifying Government Policies that Promote Venture Capital Investment in APEC Economies

The APEC workshop on Financing APEC SME Innovation was conducted on June 18th and 19th in Bangkok, Thailand.  Policy makers, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs spoke on the importance of understanding the challenges related to growing venture capital markets in APEC economies, so as to allow innovative APEC SMEs greater access to financing. The workshop ended by devising a specific set of policy recommendations to be enacted APEC-wide for both developed and developing member economies in order to encourage both domestic and cross-border venture capitalist investment, with a focus on encouraging venture capitalist market growth in latecomer economies.

Australia

Supporting Women-Led SMEs Access Global Markets by Implementing Gender-Responsive Trade Promotion Policies and Programs

Building on the outcomes of an SMEWG endorsed (and PPWE supported) multilateral workshop conducted in Manila (November 2014) and follow-up in-country visits to Chile, Indonesia, the Philippines, PNG and Vietnam (March-May 2015), this capacity building program aims to provide technical training to five economies' trade promotion agency officials, who are responsible for fostering greater export of goods and services. The program commences with a roundtable aiming to help officials identify barriers in their organisations to women accessing their services as well as considering specific actions and training to better support the needs of women-led/owned/managed SMEs. The roundtable will take place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 9-10 June 2016. A key roundtable outcome will be designing core objectives for follow-up tailor made bilateral workshops based on actual development needs of each economy. The bilateral workshops are planned for at least Peru (August 2016), Vietnam (December 2017) and PNG (by mid-2017). This work also furthers PPWE priorities.

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Digital Transformation: The Impact on SMEs and Regional Trade 

Digital transformation is redefining the way goods, services and information are produced, consumed and traded. According to the Harvard Business Review, industries ranging from finance and business services to manufacturing will be significantly disrupted by digital technologies in the near future.

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Assisting Women-Owned SMEs Access Global Markets

Aimed at helping develop or improve Trade Promotion Organisations’ services to better support women-led SMEs access global markets. Phase one of the project in 2014/15 identified the barriers women exporters face and developed a set of best practices and lessons that can be adapted to the individual circumstances of APEC economies. In 2016 and 2017, in phase two of the project, Australia is providing assistance to targeted economies to address economy specific barriers.

Best Practice Guide: Improving Business Regulation in APEC

Australia presented about the published guide of best practices to improve business regulations in APEC economies. The guide brings together lessons learned and best practices discussed at SMEWG coordinated Private Sector Development – Ease of Doing Business workshops 2007-2010.  It is available online at: http://publications.apec.org/publication-detail.php?pub_id=1239.

APEC Star Database Services Trade Access Requirements (STAR)

Information on the Services Trade Access Requirements, or STAR, database was presented. This was an online tool that allowed business owners in eight services sectors to obtain information about regulatory requirements in all 21 APEC economies. The services sectors covered were: financial; mining and energy; professional services; telecommunications; transport and logistics; education services, distribution; and computer and related technology services.

Promoting SME Development: Assisting Women-Owned SMEs Access the Global Market (Australia)

A workshop would be run on 25-26 November in Manila, the Philippines, aiming to enhance women-led SMEs capacity to internationalize and identify export opportunities. The workshop would identify impediments women-led SMEs face in accessing export markets and key elements of successful export development programs for women, and assist member economies enhance or develop export programs to assist women-led SMEs.

Harmonisation of Standards for the Movement of Data Across APEC Economies

The project would bring together APEC MSME representatives, National Standards Bodies (NSBs) and regulators to exchange views on the role of data interchange standards in facilitating MSMEs engagement in the global economy. It would seek to deliver recommendations that promote the role of voluntary international standards in facilitating the movement of data. The project would build trust and reduce technical barriers to trade by providing a framework for understanding and exchange of information among MSMEs and participating economies.