Malaysia shared the experience in facilitating SMEs during the 24th APEC Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Ministerial Meeting. The meeting took place in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam from 10-15 September, with the theme “Strengthening MSMEs Competitiveness and Innovation in the Digital Age”.
21 Ministers of APEC member economies participated in the meeting. The Malaysian delegation was led by YB Datuk Chua Tee Yong, Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry, Malaysia.
During the meeting, YB Datuk Chua Tee Yong presented a paper on “Riding the Wave of Change: Growing Beyond Borders”, which covers the emergence of megatrends, its direct and far-reaching impact on SMEs, as well as challenges that should be overcome by SMEs.
In order to facilitate the SMEs, the government of Malaysia has set a target to expand the eCommerce annual growth rate from 10.8% up to 20.8%, and reach GDP contribution of more than 20% (RM211 billion) by 2020 in the development of eCommerce. It is aimed to encourage the rise of investment, research & development, and adoption of technology to improve the efficiency of an integrated business evolution.
One of Malaysia’s initiatives, the Go Global Malaysia (#MYGoGlobal), aims to help local SMEs to explore new markets by digitalising and equipping them with the right knowledge and tools. This public-private partnership, led by industry partners namely Google, Alliance Bank, Mastercard, and Maxis, will empower SMEs to build up their business capabilities, connect with digital ecosystem partners, promote exports and grow to be globally competitive companies.
Meanwhile, #YOUCANDUIT is a digital campaign to increase additional income among Malaysians through digital initiative called eRezeki and eUsahawan.
For deeper facilitation into global value chain, Malaysia has launched Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) which will provide physical and virtual zones as a platform on convergence of exponential growth of digital economy and cross-border eCommerce activities. The implementation of DFTZ will benefit Malaysia under the National eCommerce Strategic Plan activities where expected contribution of more than USD48.7 billion of GDP by year 2020.
The SME Ministerial Meeting is held in conjunction with APEC SME Working Group Meetings. APEC’s Small and Medium Enterprises Working Group (SMEWG) were established to encourage the development of SMEs and to build their capacity to engage in international trade. Three workshops were held in conjunction with the meeting namely APEC Online-to-Offline Forum, Upgrading MSMEs Access to Finance in a Digital Age and APEC Workshop on SME Digital Economy.