Indonesia urges APEC to continue prioritizing MSMEs

Jakarta (ANTARA News) – Indonesia has urged the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) to continue prioritizing micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that play an important role in creating jobs and boosting economic growth.

“We need to improve the capacity of our MSMEs to compete globally,” Indonesian Trade Ministrys APEC Director Deny Wahyudi Kurnia had stated during the APEC senior officials meeting, committee and sub-forum sessions in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Aug 19-30.

According to a written statement received by Antara on Saturday, Kurnia noted that one of the significant targets of the APEC is ensuring the role of MSMEs in the global production chain, including strengthening e-commerce.

Some of the important agendas that have a major impact on Indonesia are MSMEs in the global trade chain, inclusive and capital financing for MSMEs, free trade in the Asia-Pacific region, connectivity improvement, service trade, and digital commerce.

According to Kurnia, the next step is to include the results of the hearing in the declaration of the Minister and APEC Summit to be held next November in Da Nang, Vietnam. APEC is paying particular attention to the rapid growth in digital commerce.

Data from the Euromonitor and World Bank indicates that global sales through electronic commerce increased to US$1.32 trillion in 2017, as compared to $995 billion in 2015.

The high growth in sales figures in the electronic commerce sector should be viewed as an opportunity for Indonesian MSMEs to benefit from the digital sales system, Kurnia emphasized.

“Hence, MSMEs should immediately improve their competitiveness, understand the electronic trading scheme, and make better use of it,” he added.

The APEC also monitors the success of policies of its members in enhancing connectivity in the Asia-Pacific to accelerate and simplify the process of trade and investment. Several obstacles have been identified and measures have been outlined to handle problems related to logistics, infrastructure, regulations, services, customs, and e-commerce.

In terms of services, APEC encourages the implementation of the APEC Services Competitiveness Roadmap, as the service sector is an important element for the efficiency of sectors that directly support trade in goods, investment, and economic competitiveness.

During the meeting, Indonesia also highlighted the importance of rural area development and poverty alleviation in the process of achieving APECs commitment of opening trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region, or Bogor Goals.

Kurnia said the Bogor Goals not only aim to facilitate open trade and investment but also strengthen the development of cooperation, reduce economic disparities, and improve economic and social welfare.

“Around 2.1 billion people in the Asia-Pacific region live below the poverty line. Hence, it is important to consider how the APEC can contribute to poverty alleviation,” he pointed out.

Source: ANTARA News

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