APEC economies to improve ecosystem for MSMEs

Monday, October 5, 2015
The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Finance Forum and associated workshops, which took place September 22-24 in Iloilo City, Philippines, ahead of the 22nd APEC SME Ministerial Meeting on September 25, were attended by the Microinsurance Network, along with the active participation of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) from across the APEC region.
Innovative and supply chain finance were key topics during the MSMEs´ roundtable discussion for CEOs held on 24 September. Michael J. McCord, Chair of the Microinsurance Network, along with Douglas Barnert, of Barnert Associates, Aris Alip of CARD MRI, Jinchang Lai of the World Bank and Antonis Malagardis of GIZ, presented the key outcomes of the discussion to the Trade Ministers of the 21 APEC economies in attendance.
The statements which resulted from the roundtable discussion outline that the CEOs welcome and support the Boracay Action Agenda, but that a more targeted and coordinated approach is needed to align with the Cebu Action Plan (CAP), specifically with regards to innovative financing for MSMEs.
"It was great that Trade Ministers from the various APEC economies sat with us to discuss directly the challenges that MSMEs face, and to listen to our recommendations on how to address many of them in order to improve the market opportunities for MSMEs", said McCord.
The CEOs elaborated a list of seven points to foster the creation of an enabling environment for the CAP´s implementation, and the promotion of an ecosystem that allows MSMEs to access a broad range of capital and financing. Amongst the points raised are the need for:
  • The provision of better governance, management and implementation of existing government guarantee facilities for MSME borrowings
  • The carrying out of an APEC-wide analysis of current implementation of business interruption/disaster risk insurance 
  • A review of the impact and costs of the digital economy, and potential lowering of costs associated with the infrastructure support, particularly through mobile banking
  • Assessment and improvement of opportunities, including the creation of workshops on financial inclusion, specifically on the areas of microfinance and microinsurance
"The recommendations, if implemented, will help Microinsurance Network members gain better access to a more stable market of MSMEs", concluded McCord.
To read the full press release by the Network in pdf, click here.