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THE 25TH ASIA-PACIFIC ECONOMIC COOPERATION SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES (APEC SME) MINISTERIAL MEETING

YB Minister of Entrepreneur Development (MED), Datuk Seri Mohd. Redzuan Yusof will lead the Malaysian delegation to the 25th APEC SME Ministerial Meeting scheduled on 5 and 6 September 2019 in Concepcion, Chile. The Minister will be accompanied by senior officials from MED, SME Corp and MaGIC.

The Minister will join SME Ministers from 21 APEC e conomies with the aim to promote cross border linkages that provide opp o rtunities for SMEs to be part of the global value chain. As the host for APEC 2019, Chile has chosen Connecting People, Building the Future as the theme , with priorities related to :
(i) digital society,
(ii) integration 4.0
(iii) women, SMEs and inclusive growth ; and
(iv) sustainable growth.

Recognizing the importance of digital economy as the enabler in today’s businesses, the meeting is expected to deliberate on digital transformation for SMEs. Leveraging on digitalisation will enable the harnessing of sustainability and inclusivity among the SMEs. The meeting will also address issues on SME financing which will cover alternative financing to bridge the gap in SME financing ecosystem. Innovative finance, whether provided by players with new business models or by financial institutions that develop innovative services or in partnership with financial technology (fintech) firms, are critical to address the existing gaps in financing for SMEs. Malaysia was the first ASEAN country to create a framework aimed at facilitating equity crowdfunding, with the objective of allowing SMEs to raise early-stage financing.

Recognising the importance of SMEs in the globalised world, the meeting will also discuss the importance of incorporating internationalisation as a competitive strategy. APEC economies need to identify specific initiatives to promote growth and development of SMEs, and to enable them to be linked with the regional and global value chain activities. In the case of Malaysia, MED will be sharing the formulation of an inclusive and competitive National Entrepreneurship Policy that aims to rationalise and refocus all functions and role of entrepreneur development programmes in order to support the nation’s economic agenda.

During the 25th APEC SME Ministerial Meeting, Datuk Seri Mohd. Redzuan is also scheduled to have bilateral meetings with his APEC counterparts such as Chile and China to exchange views on the latest developments related to SMEs and entrepreneurship, as well as to explore potential bilateral cooperation with other APEC economies.

Various side programmes are also scheduled to be held in conjunction with the meeting including the Online-to-Offline (O2O) Forum, and APEC International Fintech Summit which will be attended by officials from MaGIC and SME Bank, respectively. Malaysia views APEC as an important platform to share best practices and explore cooperation to catalyse economic growth and greater regional/international integration. With the full support of YAB Prime Minister, Malaysia will continue to be an active participant in APEC.

MED will also take the opportunity to update the meeting on Malaysia’s preparations for the APEC SME Ministerial Meeting next year in 2020, in Kuala Lumpur

Ministry of Entrepreneur Development (MED)
Putrajaya
4 September 2019

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