Entrepreneurial ministers and representatives of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies on Friday pledged greater support for Micro, Small, and Medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) which have been hard hit by the COVID-19 outbreak.
“Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are crucial to the socioeconomic development of our economies, contributing 40 to 60 per cent to Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“They also employ a significant part of the workforce in APEC economies,’’ the ministers said in a joint statement issued after an APEC SME Ministerial Meeting chaired by Malaysian Entrepreneur Development and Co-operatives Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.
“The unprecedented effects of the COVID-19 crisis on businesses calls for APEC economies to remain steadfast in strengthening an enabling environment for MSMEs through policies and measures that will help them recover and build resiliency,’’ it said.
The ministers pledged to work on developing the digital potential of MSMEs, including by expanding access to digital tools, removing barriers to digital trade and e-commerce, and cross-border commerce.
“Under the current circumstances, we will continue to address uncertainties and challenges, and find new opportunities to ensure APEC economies are on the right path to recovery and resilience, while supporting each other in this time of crisis, the statement said.