ILOILO CITY: The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation’s Business Advisory Council (ABAC) is pushing for inclusion of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in global trade and investments.
The council also recommends that MSMEs be given access to financial services, including bank lending efficiency and broadening the range of financing interments available to SMEs to better serve their diversified financing needs.
“The benefits of free and open trade and investments need to trickle down to MSMEs to ensure that the objectives of job creation, wealth generation with equity and wider access to the opportunities of global trade are realized,” said ABAC Chairman Doris Magsaysay-Ho at the APEC SME Finance Forum.
The priorities of the advisory council this year include embracing e-commerce to facilitate the access of MSMEs to international markets, promoting innovations and MSME participation in the global value chain as well as promoting and ensuring MSME access to finance and affordable credit.
“MSMEs account for over 97 percent of all enterprises and employ over half of the workforce across APEC economies. MSMEs contribute significantly to economic growth, with SMEs share of the gross domestic product ranging from 20 to 50 percent in the majority of APEC economies,” Magsaysay-Ho said.
The ABAC calls for innovation and financing instruments needed to finance start-ups as well as financial innovation that respond to the changing business models.
The council also said that initiatives to promote an enabling environment for trade and supply chain finance and alternative financing mechanisms are needed, as these add to identify best practices for strengthening MSME resilience against unexpected events, disasters and financial crises.
The Asia Pacific region is home to more than a billion people who do not have access to a bank account or formal financial services. There has to be a clear understanding of the perspectives across disadvantaged communities to effectively promote financial inclusion.
She stressed that the business models of digital finance are changing the environment for lending, savings, insurance and payments in a way that warrants more attention by policy makers.