APEC’s Core Work

Women,

SMES And

Inclusive Growth

The Challenge

Better for Everyone

Women

In The

Economy

Engines of Innovation

Connecting Small Business to Trade

Small and Medium Enterprise

APEC’s Core Work

For most of the last decade, making the region’s economy more inclusive has been at the heart of APEC.

The forum’s core work is increasing participation in the regional economy, so that the benefits are spread to more sections of society.

In 2019, APEC is focusing specifically on increasing the participation of women and small businesses in regional trade, which will contribute significantly to APEC’s goal of achieving more inclusive growth.

The Challenge

Although APEC has worked on the initiative for years, 2019 is the first time the economic empowerment of women has been singled out as an APEC priority. There are still major challenges, particularly reducing the labor market divide, in terms of access and opportunities. The ability of women to join the workforce remains much lower than men, even after decades of progress.

Better for Everyone

Increasing women’s economic empowerment makes economies grow faster overall. It is one of the key factors in reducing poverty and ensuring that the population shares the benefits of growth.

Under Chile’s leadership, APEC will focus on increasing women’s participation in non-traditional sectors. The forum will promote strategies to assist economies in attracting, retaining and promoting women in industries such as mining, transportation and energy. Ensuring women have equal access to technology and connected learning is also key, so they can take advantage of the digital age.

Engines of Innovation

SMEs account for over 97 per cent of all business and employ over half of the workforce across APEC economies. They contribute significantly to economic growth, with their share of GDP ranging from 20 to 50 per cent in most APEC economies.

And yet, due to some barriers and other challenges they face, the participation of small businesses in international trade accounts for less than 35 per cent of regional direct exports.

Connecting Small Business to Trade

Building on what was agreed in the Boracay Action Agenda and the progress made to date, our main objective in APEC Chile 2019 will be to address the regulatory challenges that SMEs face day-to-day. Thus, Chile will promote the economic integration of SMEs in international trade in the APEC region through initiatives that focus on reducing trade barriers, simplifying regulations, improving access, and strengthening the capabilities of SMEs to realize the benefits of globalized trade, particularly in the area of digital trade. We will advance in promoting electronic certification and digital signatures, in addition with facilitating access to information and communication technologies.

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