Statement by Deputy Prime Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow on the APEC Ministerial Meeting on Small and Medium Enterprises

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Published by the APEC Ministerial Meeting on Small and Medium Enterprises

Phuket, Thailand, September 10, 2022

This morning, Supattanapong Punmeechaow, Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand and Vice Chairman of Thailand’s SME Promotion Council, shared with Ministers and high-level APEC officials 21 member economies a statement that reflects the outcomes of the 28th APEC Small and Medium Enterprises Meeting, which he chaired on September 9-10, 2022.

The statement mapped the wide range of problems faced by startups and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the APEC region, and elaborated some solutions that were discussed by the ministers. These are summarized in the theme of the meeting – “APEC MSME Inclusive Recovery through Bio-Circular-Green Economy Model and High-Impact Ecosystem”.

Read the 2022 APEC Small and Medium Enterprises Ministerial Chair’s Statement

During the meeting, ministers said they would continue to foster economic growth, which benefits everyone, including small businesses and startups. They will help small businesses participate in the global economy and intend to restore and improve connectivity between APEC economies through digital resilience, which will help MSMEs to thrive and in turn contribute to the region’s recovery. .

As noted in the Chair’s statement, members agreed to do so by supporting the following points in bold:

  • Acceleration of the region’s adoption of the bio-circular-green economy model –
    Going bio-circular-green can open business opportunities and add value to small business products and services, while contributing to the global effort to fight climate change.
  • Inclusive digital transformation – Digitization gives small businesses the tools to grow faster. MSMEs with digital skills can reach more customers and are more resilient to disruptions such as restrictions imposed under the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Debt financing and restructuring – MSMEs find it difficult to borrow “because they are small, less diversified and may have weaker financial structures”. Giving a small business access to finance unlocks its potential, which is why ministers encourage measures to address credit constraints.
  • Coping with a changing market landscape – A business environment that encourages startups, fosters innovation, promotes participation in global value chains, and empowers women and young entrepreneurs, among others, will help MSMEs thrive and become more competitive.

The statement also shows how APEC MSME ministers recognize that economic goals should not just include growth, but people’s well-being, inclusion, equity as well as sustainability.

Read the 2022 APEC Small and Medium Enterprises Ministerial Chair’s Statement

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