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Indonesia to discuss access to finance at APEC SME ministerial talk
Publication Date : 27-08-2013
Indonesia will highlight access to finance as a key issue for discussion in the upcoming Asia -Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Ministerial Meeting in Bali.
Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises Minister Syarief Hasan said limited access to finance was a common problem faced by SMEs in the Asia-Pacific region when they wanted to start or expand their businesses.
“As for Indonesia, we as an emerging economy need to learn a lot from more advanced countries, which have more experience in providing their SMEs with financial access,” he said on Monday.
“This encouragement will be crucial to allowing our business entities to become more competitive.”
SMEs represent approximately 90 per cent of overall business entities in the 21 APEC economies and provide millions of jobs for at least 60 per cent of the total workforce in the region.
However, they currently produce only about 30 per cent of total exports.
APEC has tasked its specific working group with promoting the development of the SMEs and strengthening their capabilities to integrate into global trade.
A ministerial meeting on SMEs has been carried out each year since 1994.
The last meeting took place in Saint Petersburg, Russia, last year with Russia as the APEC Summit host proposing a strategic plan for 2013 to 2016 to set up a clear
road map to clear the major obstacles and issues related to the development of SMEs as well as microenterprises across Asia Pacific.
Under the plan, the economies are expected to join forces to take action in the areas of capability management, entrepreneurship and innovation, financing, business environment, market access and internationalization.
The 20th SME Ministerial Meeting under the theme “Enhancing SME global competitiveness” is scheduled for Sept. 7 in Nusa Dua, Bali, and will be preceded by the first meeting between APEC SME ministers and ministers responsible for women’s affairs.
Prior to these meetings, the APEC SME Working Group will meet on Sept. 4 and 5.
Syarief said in conjunction with the ministerial meetings and related events, including workshops and training sessions, Indonesia would host the Indonesia International SME Exhibition on Sept. 4-7 with the theme “Locally connected, globally competitive”.
“One of the goals will be to expose our SMEs to their peers from other APEC member economies, so that they may build partnerships that will enable them to be competitive in the global market,” the minister said.
The exhibition will be attended by around 200 business players, comprising 179 Indonesian SMEs and 21 SMEs from other APEC members, including Russia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.
Products offered will include green products, heritage products, services and food and beverages.
According to Syarief, Indonesia expects the exhibition to draw 30,000 visitors and record Rp 10 billion (US$921,828) in business transactions.