The Philippines, through the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) sponsored workshops last June 8 and 9 in Atlanta, USA to develop small and medium enterprises (SMEs) through the Global Supply Chain Event.
The workshop, which brought together 350 SMEs from 21 APEC-member economies, was the proponent in facilitating SMEs trade through better understanding of non-tariff measures (NTMs) in the Asia Pacific Region and APEC SME Business matching and Internship Consortium for Global Value Chain (GVC) Integration.
After the NTM workshop in the United States, another workshop will be held in Iloilo in September to further strengthen and deepen regional economic integration and eliminate barriers to trade and investment in the region by improving the capacity of SMEs and key organizations in understanding NTMs and its impact on trade.
In her speech, Trade Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya underscored the role being played by SMEs in the Asia Pacific Region.
“We are all aware of the importance of SMEs in the APEC region and we also know the great potential to further increase the sector’s economic contribution if these SMEs are able to participate more actively in regional and global trade,” Usec. Maglaya said.
In a 2013 World Bank study titled, “Enabling Trade Valuing Growth Opportunities,” it emphasized that reducing supply chain barriers to trade could increase gross domestic product (GDP) up to six times more than removing tariffs.
Usec. Maglaya also noted the challenges being faced by SMEs that make them vulnerable to trade inhibiting policies, thus making them unable to navigate rules while trading across borders.
“It has been recognized that both tariff and non-tariff measures, compliance to standards and attaining productivity and efficiency limit SMEs’ ability to participate in global trade,” she said.
The GVC workshops, on the other hand, was held to identify the gaps faced by SMEs that hinder it from assimilating into global value chains and provide insights on SME capabilities and adequacies to strengthen SMEs for global production network linkage.
Participants of the workshop were cross-matched, forming an SME Global Value Chain Business Matching and Internship Consortium. An online platform was also created for facilitating exchanges among members to create expansion of scale and scope of the project.
SMEs account for more than 90 percent of all businesses and provide for as much as 60 percent of the workforce in the Asia Pacific.
Posted By: Edrillan Pasion