Officials and experts on Thursday urged for more efforts to promote practical and substantial cooperation among small and medium-sized enterprises on the framework of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, to contribute more to the global economy.
Xu Xiaolan, vice-minister of industry and information technology, called for an unwavering commitment to driving economic integration across the Asia-Pacific region while pioneering fresh avenues for the growth of SMEs.
"We should give full play to the role of the APEC mechanism. Economic entities should work together to implement the APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040, focusing on the priority areas for small, medium and micro enterprises in APEC," said Xu during the opening ceremony of the 12th APEC Small and Medium Enterprises Technology Conference and Fair held in Qingdao, Shandong province, on Thursday.
"This includes stimulating the potential of these enterprises to create jobs, increasing support for young and female entrepreneurs, providing entrepreneurial guidance, financing support, training and market resources, and creating a favorable environment to promote inclusive development in the Asia-Pacific region.
"We should strongly support the specialized and innovative development of enterprises while promoting digitalization and green transformation," Xu added.
Over 103,000 specialized and innovative small and medium-sized enterprises have been cultivated in China. They play an important role in enhancing the resilience and stability of industrial chains and supply chains, Xu added.
Teten Masduki, minister of cooperatives and SMEs of Indonesia, said it is essential to build an international cooperation mechanism to enhance supply chain synergies between APEC economies, "which significantly supports the development of SMEs to strengthen business competitiveness, increase internationalization of SMEs and improve SME partnership in international trade".
He hoped through this occasion there could be collaboration between Indonesia and China in empowering SMEs through technology to foster economic growth and development.
Ana Maria Choquehuanca, minister of production of Peru, said Peru values the spirit of cooperation that characterizes APEC economies.
"We are decisively implementing the circular economy in the industry, and we are aware that the involvement of SMEs is vital for this objective. The great technological advances and policies adopted by China and APEC economies drive us to seek synergies to build platforms for SMEs to take advantage of new technologies, trade with increasingly innovative products and actively participate in global value chains," said Choquehuanca.
The conference and fair, which is scheduled to conclude on Saturday, is co-hosted by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and Shandong province, with representatives from 21 APEC member economies and economies involved in the Belt and Road Initiative participating. It has attracted over 1,600 overseas and local companies.
Oh Kee-woong, vice-minister of SMEs and startups for the Republic of Korea, said this event offers a timely opportunity to seek ways to drive the digital innovation of SMEs, as "we are facing the ever-intensifying need for digital transformation across all sectors of society amid the whirlwind of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It is particularly important for SMEs to harness digital technologies and enhance productivity to grow into small yet strong businesses".