Wednesday, 17 Jan 2018

APEC supporting programs: Opportunities for Vietnamese enterprises

Updated at Thursday, 12 Oct 2017, 14:22
The Hanoitimes - At present, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) contribute to 97% of the total enterprises in Asian Pacific Economic Corporation (APEC), 60% of GDP and creating 50% jobs among economic members. As such, supporting enterprises is one of the 3 cooperative pillars of APEC.
Specifically, Vietnamese enterprises can take advantage from the Boracay Action Agenda to Globalize MSMEs for period 2015 - 2020, with an aim to foster the participation of APEC MSMEs in regional and global markets. This agenda had been approved at the APEC Summit 2015 in Philippines. 

MSMEs are significant contributors of economic growth, trade, employment poverty alleviation and innovation, and their internationalization is key to realizing inclusive growth and development. The Boracay Action Agenda to Globalize MSMEs is aimed to strengthen APEc’s economic members’ actions in order to harness the opportunities presented by open and increasingly integrated markets and to take advantage of new opportunities that allow these enterprises to more significantly participate in global trade. The Action Agenda will build on APEC’s extensive work on regional economic integration and ensure that efforts are relevant and responsive to MSMEs’ needs.

To promote the internationalization of MSMEs and integrate them into global value chains, APEC will address barriers to trade and investment that disproportionately impact MSMEs in comparison to larger businesses.  As such, it is to reduce and eliminate tariffs and non-tariff barriers in the region will produce significant benefits to MSMEs. Indeed, one of the best ways APEC can help MSMEs enjoy a more trade facilitating environment is to support implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement.

Whether as a participant in global value chains, or a direct exporter of goods and services, or as a start-up, APEC would be an enabler of global MSMEs through specific actions to address barriers to their internationalization as identified by APEC MRT and SME Ministers in 2011. Trade facilitation, trade finance, e-commerce, and institutional support are priority areas of cooperation where APEC actions are needed to foster MSMEs’ participation in global and regional markets. 

Besides, Vietnamese enterprises can also consider the APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) created by APEC, which allows business travelers pre-cleared, facilitated short-term entry to participating member economies. The ABTC removes the need to individually apply for visas or entry permits, saving valuable time, and allows multiple entries into participating economies during the three years the card is valid. Card holders also benefit from faster immigration processing on arrival via access to fast-track entry and exit through special APEC lanes at major airports in participating economies.The ABTC also helps to enhance border integrity and security in participating economies by providing benefits to border agencies as it increases the number of low risk travelers since each applicant is checked against 'watch lists' of other participating economies. Therefore, it carries savings not only for business people but for governments, too.

APEC member economies fully participating in the scheme include Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, China, Hong Kong (China), Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, and Viet Nam. Canada and the United States are transitional members of the scheme.

Recently, in sidelines of the APEC 2017, the Ministry of Industry & Trade and APEC Secretariat have jointly held the APEC workshop on promoting innovation for start-ups. The objective of this workshop is to improve the process of experience and good practice exchange between APEC members, with an aim to promote innovation for start-ups; sharing experiences from the perspectives of managers and enterprises to increase the role and benefits of innovation for enterprises; thus, recommendations and ideas from the workshop will be submitted to the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, which will be held in the upcoming November in Da Nang. These efforts are expected to improve cooperation between APEC members in innovation.
Ngoc Thuy
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