Highlighting the importance of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in a country’s economic growth, President Benigno S. Aquino III led the opening of the first Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2015 SME Summit in Green Sun, Makati.
“This is the basic principle that underscores the inclusive growth agenda of our administration, one we have sought to uphold in our hosting of APEC,” said President Aquino in his keynote address.
In 2013, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) constituted 99% of all business enterprises in the Philippines and accounted for 63.7% of total employment. According to the President, these statistics represented Filipinos giving opportunities for so many other Filipinos.
“That is why the Philippines has chosen to make fostering SMEs’ participation in regional and global markets a priority of APEC 2015,” he said.
Throughout the country’s yearlong hosting of APEC, commitments have been made in intensifying the promotion of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). These include the Boracay Action Agenda to globalize MSMEs and the Iloilo Initiative to encourage dialogue among MSMEs, large businesses and policy makers.
He also mentioned a few of APEC initiatives already existing for the benefit of SMEs, such as the APEC Crisis Management Center, created to assist entrepreneurs in coping with economic crises.
Another initiative is the APEC SME Innovation Center and the APEC Start-up Accelerator Network that helps promote entrepreneurship and innovation. Likewise, trainings in business continuity planning are made available to prepare SMEs in the event of calamities.
“Having seen how empowering our countrymen to succeed in their businesses leads to the creation of even more opportunities for other Filipinos, the Philippines is determined to lead efforts to spur the growth of APEC SMEs,” the Chief Executive added.
In partnership with the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), the APEC 2015 SME Summit is initiated to maximize technology and innovation in pushing for the growth of small businesses and to challenge the traditional framework of MSMEs and further progress in their business.
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