APEC automotive sector dialogue to focus on MSME participation

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The 24th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Automotive Dialogue (APEC-AD) is giving weight on the importance of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the development of the industry.

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The Philippines is hosting the event, during which stakeholders will discuss the current state, outlook, and strategies of the automotive industry. The APEC-AD runs from May 25 to 27 at the Makati Diamond Residences in Makati City.

The Board of Investments (BOI) noted that the APEC-AD will focus on the role of MSMEs in moving and contributing to the manufacturing sector in the country and the need to integrate into the regional and global markets.

The APEC-AD is a forum for officials and senior industry representatives of APEC member economies to map out strategies and boost the integration and development of the automotive sector. It is one of the Industry Dialogues under the APEC Committee on Trade and Investments, along with the Chemicals Dialogue and Life Sciences Innovation Forum.

Two workshops within the forum will tackle the experiences and best practices of MSMEs in the global value chains (GVCs).

Various initiatives focusing on MSMEs and the need to better participate in GVSs, including the study on the GVC-SME Automotive Sector conducted by Malaysia and the Philippines, are up for discussion at the forum.

The BOI noted the study is part of the efforts to gather information on how MSMEs contribute to the automotive industry in the Asia-Pacific region, amid barriers in the international trading system.

“As a follow through, the APEC-AD hopes to identify and develop a capacity building action plan for SMEs based on the findings of the study,” said BOI Executive Director for Industry Development Services Ma. Corazon Dichosa.

“A compendia on motor-vehicle related taxes as well as automotive business regimes were also initiated to provide member economies with up-to-date vital information on the automotive sectors in the region. These aims to provide the auto industry, particularly SMEs with information to aid them in penetrating the GVC, e.g. market size of the economies, business regulations,” added Dichosa, who is also the APEC-AD chairperson.

A working group will tackle the updates on APEC developments and APEC-AD workplan toward 2017.

APEC conducted its first AD forum in Indonesia in 1999. Since then, member economies have continued to meet biannually. Among its current members are China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Russia, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, Vietnam, and the United States, with India regularly attending as guest.

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