SMEWG Resources

APEC'S NEW CHALLENGE: Inclusive Growth through Smarter Globalization and Technological Progress

The APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) commissioned the University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business to explore issues around globalization and technological progress, their impacts, and possible new approaches in greater detail. The findings and conclusions presented in this report have been developed from a meta-analysis of existing research, both academic and popular press; field interviews with 457 business, government, labor, academic, and nonprofit leaders; 40 thoughtleader interviews; and a detailed research questionnaire with 351 responses. 


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


SheEO Learning Lab

What is the Learning Lab?

SheEO Learning Lab is a series of live webinars and online resources designed to give women the skills and knowledge to start a business and grow as an entrepreneur. Learn directly from the SheEO Ventures building innovative businesses, doing business differently and working on the World's To-Do List.


SheEO is a radically redesigned ecosystem that supports, finances, and celebrates female innovators.

People's Republic of China

8th SME Technology Conference and Fair (China)

The 8th APEC SMETC was held on 19 - 22 June 2014 in Zhejiang Province, China, which focused on electronics, high-end equipment, and producer services under the theme "transformation and upgrading boosted by technical innovation". It worked to strengthen the communication between economy and trade, information and technology, and to help APEC SMEs explore international markets and improve their own competition

APEC SMEs Business Forum (China)

The forum was held on 2 September in Nanjing, China, focused on sharing experience and exchanging ideas on innovative capabilities and sustainable development of SMEs.

With "Innovation and Sustainability" as its theme, the Forum focused on hot topics concerning the SME sector, including global production chains and supply chains, the cooperative relationship between public and private sectors, and financing and SME incubators/accelerators.

Hong Kong, China

Igniting Creativity - Hong Kong, China's Support for Small and Medium Enterprises in the Creative Industries

Hong Kong, China made a presentation on the economy's support measures provided to SMEs in the creative industries, with a focus on the design sector. These include all-round support to nurture design start-ups through the Design Incubation Programme; revitalized decommissioned buildings to provide space for design studies and exhibition and art venues; and funding support through the CreateSmartInitiative to promote the development of the industries. Altogether, the support measures facilitate SMEs in the field to grow and establish their business in both locally and overseas.

Serving the SME Community 360

Hong Kong, China made a presentation introducing their network of government and quasi-government support centres for SMEs. These centers serve to look after SMEs' needs in their establishment and operation in the form of information and advisory services of Support and Consultation Centre for SMEs ("SUCCESS") run by the Trade and Industry Department, enhancement of business operation by the IT solution services of Hong Kong Productivity Council's "SME One" and "Inno Space", and market expansion by the export market-oriented services of the Hong Kong Trade and Development Council's "SME Centre".

Staying Ahead, Nurturing Innovative Start-ups

Hong Kong, China's best practice sharing focused on support for innovative start-ups, especially Fintec start-ups. Supporting start-ups was an important part of Hong Kong, China's drive to develop innovation and technology for the economy. A broad range of measures were adopted such as enhancing existing start-up incubation programmes, introducing new programmes, reducing general and specific taxes, and improving SME funding schemes to enable start-ups to benefit as well.


Commercialization of SME Industry

In regard of supporting SMEs through the strengthening of the market and accessibility to finance, Indonesia established the Marketing Services Agency (LLP‐KUKM) and the Revolving Fund Agency (LPDB KUMKM). LLP‐KUKM aims to strengthen the promotion and marketing of products existing SMEs across Indonesia, by providing provincial pavilions, market information, consulting, training, etc. LPDB‐KUMKM is to ease SMEs' access to finance, through the provision of easiness interest include flexible loans.

Promoting Innovative Economy through APEC Co-Incubation Initiative

Promoting Innovative Economy through APEC Co-Incubation Initiative
Agenda Item: 11.3.2
ndonesia stated that business incubators were key tools for fostering private sector development through systematizing the process of assisting new technology-based business start-ups. As growing economies require continuous innovation, it was imperative to look for suitable opportunities overseas to be incubated in-house for common benefit. For that purpose, Indonesia proposed this initiative in order to further economic growth by fostering private sector development through the building of a common platform for entrepreneurship and an award/innovation competition for co-incubation.


APEC Seminar on Enhancing Market Entry for MSMEs including Smallholders in Asia-Pacific Region

Objectives: To enhance entry of MSMEs including smallholders into local, domestic and international market is one of the key elements to increase their income and to foster rural development. The seminar aimed to share best practices and technology to increase efficiency and production levels of MSME holders, identify capacities needed by MSMEs (i.e. stable production, quality, regulatory compliance) for market entry at various levels and examine potential measures for aiding market entry.

Beneficiaries: Public, private, and academic representatives in charge of agriculture, forestrt, fisheries, rural development and poverty alleviation from APEC economies as well as delegates attending FSW 2018.

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Republic of Korea

SME Internationalization: The Case of Korea and later Research Directions

The study by Korea aimed to find out if PSU's model of the study ""SME Internationalization and Measurement" 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 Korea's project. The study targeted 100 exporting/importing Korean SMEs in three industries such as electronics (including IT), automobiles/parts, and textile/apparel.

SMEs' Integration into Global Value Chains in Services Industries: Software Services

This project seeks to facilitate better understanding of how GVCs in software services is structured and where the opportunities and challenges are for SMEs' participation including smart factory cases; provide APEC Ministers and Leaders with a set of policy recommendations on how to promote SMEs' integration in software services GVCs addressing challenges and achieving sustainable growth and trade in the industry; help SMEs build capacity and develop strategy for effective integration into GVCs of the software services industry; and, identify business opportunities and difficulties for SMEs in the software services industry and help policy makers to reflect the difficulties.

Beneficiaries of this project include the public sector (government bodies and agencies), SMEs/MSMEs and related associations, multinational corporations, developing economies and academia.

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Papua New Guinea

Developing a Best Practice Global Value Chain Framework on Fisheries Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)

The project is aimed at promoting the growth and development of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) participate in the fisheries global value chain in the APEC region. MSMEs in the fisheries sector have not been actively participating in the global value chain given the many supply and demand side constraints - lack of capital, technical know-how, technology, access to markets, barriers to trade, among others. The lack of local participation means local communities miss out on vital economic and social benefits leading to many social problems.The global value chain workshop on fisheries MSMES in developing APEC economies looks at analyzing the global value chain (GVC) for fisheries MSMEs in the APEC region to improve competitiveness, enhance market access, increase trade and investments flows, identify challenges and reduce barriers to trade. It is proposed that a best practice global value chain framework to improve competitiveness of the fisheries MSME into the global food value chain is developed.

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Access to Government Procurement and Participation in GVCs: SMEs’ Access to Public Procurement Market

Peru introduced five steps to achieve the objective of increasing productivity and reducing productive heterogeneity among firms: (i) Promote access to government procurement through the National initiative to enhance micro and small firms during the international crisis; (ii) Promote Innovation; (iii) Promote internalization, in which e‐Commerce is a facilitating tool; (iv) Promote value added to access to government procurement markets; and (v) Look for sustainability and growth through to maintain a regular/minimum amount of public procurement to enhance the SMEs improve their productivity and look for other markets.

APEC Start-ups Conference III 2014: Global Thinking to Make Global Business

Peru informed on the upcoming  conference scheduled on October 28-29, 2014, in Lima, Peru. Its objectives are to become an important start-up node in the APEC region, to encourage start-ups and entrepreneurs to develop global funding, and to facilitate information, cooperation, and networking between diverse global economies.

Compendium on Methodologies for SMEs Internationalization

This initiative is envisaged as a contribution to the MSMEs Marketplace established under the Iloilo Initiative. It also addresses Leader's instructions to implement the Boracay Action Agenda (BBA), and facilitate SMEs access to regional and global markets. Particularly, this initiative will achieve the Common Goals towards 2020 outlined in the BAA, where the indicators include case studies of MSMEs participation in international markets and global value chains, and the increase in internationalization activities. In addition, this compendium will add value to the existing work programme under work stream 5 of the APEC Strategic Blueprint on Global Value Chains on Assisting SMEs to Benefit from GVCs. 

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SMEs' Integration into Global Value Chains in Services Industries: Tourism Sector

The project will develop of a comprehensive study on structures, main strategies for MSMEs to participate in tourism GVCs, as well as best government practices and policies on facilitating MSMEs access to tourism GVCs.

The project seeks to:

1)   To facilitate better understanding of the structure of the main tourism GVCs (including culture and nature-based tourism; Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions - MICE tourism; accommodation and transport providers; cafes and restaurants); and the opportunities and challenges for tourism MSMEs in the Asia Pacific;

2)  To provide APEC policy makers with a set of recommendations on how to enhance competitiveness in tourism GVCs; and

3)  To help MSMEs build capacity and develop strategy for effective integration into services GVCs.

Beneficiaries of this project include: the public sector (government bodies and agencies), MSMEs and related associations; academia (academic institutions, public and/or private research institutions), multinational corporations and developing economies.

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The Philippines

Inclusive growth through greater involvement of SMEs into B2B and B2G markets (SME 04 2016S)

The main goal of the research is to systemize the practices of APEC economies in the field of cooperation of SMEs with corporate and public sector. The typical barriers that SMEs face in their cooperation with corporate and public sectors as suppliers are mostly related to financial issues. At the same time corporations and public sector identified limited production capacities, insufficient quality standards, incomparability of technical tools and difficulties in communication with foreign partners as the main barriers. The survey also reveals information on opportunities for foreign SMEs to participate in public procurement; share of SME in public procurement, special regulations for access of SMEs; systemized open source of information online available for SMEs.

2015 APEC E-Commerce Forum: New Paradigm for Cross-Border E-Commerce and Online Shopping (SME 01 2015S)

APEC e-commerce forum was held from November 26 to 28, 2015 in Jeju city, Korea. The purpose of the event was to provide a place to discuss the e-commerce industry for industry experts and policy makers. This forum contributed to increasing people’s understanding about the e-commerce industry, and sharing the most up-to-date information on the e-commerce industry.

2016 APEC Business Ethics for SMEs Forum (SME 01 2015A)

The 3rd SME Business Ethics Forum was held in Lima, Peru on September 5-6 for three sectors: medical devices, biopharmaceutical, and construction-engineering.

A Successful Case of Korean Government Policies Contributing to the Success of a Female Entrepreneur in the Chinese Market

Korean government’s presentation on SME support programs which contributed to the success of a female entrepreneur in the Chinese market. Her company faced with many difficulties when established and she decided to enter overseas markets in 2013. However, problems arose in that course, including lack of information, language barrier, and high cost of marketing. Then, in 2015, the company participated in a government assistance program named ‘Global Distribution Network Program’ that was jointly run by SMBA, Small and Medium Business Administration, and SBC, Small and medium Business Corporation. Thanks to that, the company was offered with opportunities to sell its products on a highest-rated home shopping network in China.

APEC Accelerator Network for Early-Stage Investment (SME 01 2014)

This project provided a mentorship-driven platform for start-ups to connect with the trusted partners and smart money in APEC. There were over 90 start-ups selected as finalists of APEC Challenge and secured totally over 50 million USD early-stage investments since 2013. The conclusion was that the next steps to further facilitate SME’s growth and access to regional and global market are: (i) to optimize the conducive innovation environment; (ii) to enhance digital competitiveness; and (iii) to capitalize on O2O opportunities for innovative start-ups and SMEs through PPP.

APEC Online-to-Offline (O2O) Initiative: Enhancing SME Digital Competitiveness and Resilience Towards Quality Growth

The project is identified as one of the existing efforts undertaken by APEC in promoting digital economy. Five O2O serial events held in Malaysia, Chinese Taipei, Viet Nam and the Philippines in 2017, expected to establish an expert network, formulate the APEC SME digital resilience training guidebook, enhance SMEs’ capabilities to seize digital opportunities and well prepare for the challenges via cross fora collaboration.

APEC Online-to-Offline (O2O) Initiative: New Era of Growth for APEC SMEs through O2O Business Models

This project aims to provide a cross-border platform to modernize and facilitate SME’s participation in global value chains. Strong public-private partnership is the key making this project successful. Under this project, 5 serial O2O events has been held in Chinese Taipei, Viet Nam and Peru with the focus on the 4 main O2O innovation areas, namely, “Mobile Commerce”, “Sharing Economy”, “Collaborative Industry” and “NexGen Innovation”. An “APEC Guidebook on SME O2O” was published in November 2016.

APEC Public - Private Dialogue on Identifying and Addressing Difficulties and Challenges that Hinder SMEs from Taking Trade Benefits and Advantages of RTAs/FTAs in the Region (SME 06 2015T)

Recommendations from the Dialogue include:

Government agencies to act as facilitator; Look into new emerging SMEs, such as online business, social enterprises, services industry and tourism;Develop strategies to promote innovation and technology transfer to improve the competitiveness of SMEs; Best practices on innovation and entrepreneurship; he Internet is an important infrastructure to help SMEs do business and export. On this point, it is shared that APEC may develop a work plan to enabling the participation of SMEs in digital trade; Assess the impacts of FTAs/RTAs on agriculture.

APEC SME Business Ethics Forum Medical Device and Biopharmaceutical Sectors

The 4th APEC Business Ethics for SMEs Forum to be held in Hanoi, Viet Nam on 7-8 September 2017. The goals of the forum include: (i) specialized capacity building mentoring to ensure all economies have relevant industry codes in place by 2020, (ii) increase the number of member economies with public-private framework agreements to facilitate high-standard ethical business practices across national health systems, and (iii) strengthen ethical business practices for distributors and other third party intermediaries as vital enterprises in the medical device and biopharmaceutical sectors.

APEC SME Internationalization Model Indices: Development and Application

The APEC SME Internationalization Model Indices was developed per individual economy as well as APEC as the whole thanks to the data collected through pilot studies from 5 member economies. As for analysis, the SME internationalization was examined in terms of the economy-industry-firm size aspect, the diversity-intensity relationship and the major determinants. Major research results included: 1) The larger the firm size, the higher the internationalization level of SMEs; 2) The diversity of SME internationalization is generally higher than the Intensity across all economies; and 3) Firm size, R&D, export history, openness and industry characteristics matter for SME internationalization, but readiness to market advance and government support have little or significant impact on internationalization.

In order to share the results of the project and to discuss ways to globalize SMEs in the APEC region, Korea’s Small and Medium Business Administration (SMBA) and Small and medium Business Corporation(SBC) hold a workshop in Seoul, Korea in October 2016 (SME 05 2016S)

APEC Workshop on Promoting SMEs’ Participation in the Food Supply Chain (SME 07 2015A)

Workshop held in Ha Noi, Viet Nam on 26 – 27 May 2016. Structured in 5 sessions: (i) Overview of SMEs’ participation in the Regional Food Supply Chains; (ii) Impediments to SMEs’ participation in the regional food supply chain; (iii) Critical issues and support for SMEs’ participation in the Food Supply Chain; (iv) Experiences in promoting SMEs’ efficient participation in the Regional Food Supply Chain; and (v) Case Studies of SMEs’ participation in the food supply chain