KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 26 (Bernama) — The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) needs to build an ecosystem that supports enterprise creation and improves the environment for innovation, as well as facilitates financial inclusion for start-ups, Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Ahmad Maslan said.
He said Malaysia recognises the vital role of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in bringing new ideas to the market and fostering innovation.
Ahmad highlighted Malaysia’s initiatives for modernisation and automation of MSMEs, including focusing on the Soft Loan Scheme for Automation & Modernisation (SLSAM).
SLSAM seeks to encourage MSMEs in Malaysia to embrace automation and modernisation of their businesses.
“We further applaud the Philippines for putting the MSMEs at the forefront of its priorities this year, and we fully support the ‘APEC Iloilo Initiative’ which complements the ‘Boracay Action Agenda’ in promoting conducive policy, business and regulatory environments that foster the long-term growth of MSMEs.
“We recognise that local development plans and enterprise clusters also contribute greatly to enhancing productivity, innovation and inclusive growth,” he said in a statement.
Ahmad represented Malaysia at the 22nd APEC Small and Medium Enterprises Ministerial Meeting (SMEMM) on Sept 25 in the Philippines.
The SMEMM also announced that an online-based, interactive portal to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) promote collaboration linkages for businesses in the APCE member countries would be developed soon.
The portal would also improve mechanisms for knowledge sharing on trade facilitation, business support, partnerships and capacity building activities among the MSMEs.
MSMEs make up over 97 per cent of all enterprises and generate more than 70 per cent of all jobs in the APEC region.
APEC economies taking part in the SMEMM account for more than 76 per cent of Malaysia’s external trade and 54 per cent of foreign direct investment.