The Philippines’ EMERGE, an export readiness assessment tool for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to enter the global market, has won this year’s APEC Digital Prosperity Award.
The winner was announced at the APEC Ministerial Meeting on 15 November in San Francisco chaired by the United States Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai.
“This award recognizes the APEC App Challenge team that most embodied the 2023 US APEC theme of ‘Creating a Resilient and Sustainable Future for All,’” Ambassador Tai said during the announcement.
“This year marked the seventh edition of the APEC App Challenge, a coding competition which challenges developers from across our APEC economies to design technical solutions to key issues in the APEC region.”
The focus of the 2023 APEC App Challenge is building an online tool that promotes participation of MSMEs and other groups with untapped economic potential in global digitally-enabled trade and the international marketplace. This year’s special prize, the APEC Digital Prosperity Award, is centered around the US host year’s innovative policy priority.
“As an award that recognizes innovative applications that have the potential to further prosperity and inclusive growth, the APEC Digital Prosperity Award is relevant to the US 2023 APEC host year theme of ‘Creating a Resilient and Sustainable Future for All,’” said Ambassador Matt Murray, United States Senior Official for APEC.
EMERGE was selected among the many entries from 14 economies that participated in the 2023 APEC App Challenge held on the margins of the APEC Small and Medium Enterprises Ministerial Meeting in August.
“The United States is particularly proud to announce this award as part of our host year Digital Pacific Agenda, which featured the inaugural Digital Month in Seattle where the App Challenge was held,” Ambassador Murray added.
Fostering an enabling environment, the APEC Digital Prosperity Award celebrates the kind of creativity that helps members solve some of the region’s most pressing challenges. Rooted in the 2010 APEC Leaders' Growth Strategy, the award does this by recognizing innovative digital products or applications that have the potential to increase prosperity and inclusive growth.
“Inclusive economies thrive on diversity, and the youth brings a dynamic range of ideas and innovations that can bridge gaps, connect communities, and create opportunities for various groups with untapped economic potential,” said Dr Rebecca Sta Maria, Executive Director of APEC Secretariat.
Developed by Gerald Mendeja and Jenero de Guzman, EMERGE offers an export readiness assessment tool to evaluate businesses' readiness, a public global directory to showcase products and attract investors, and a smart search feature for finding collaborations and investments.
These features enable small businesses that wish to venture into exporting to demonstrate the unique value propositions, offerings, and growth potential that set their business apart in the global marketplace.
“We feel very happy and excited to show EMERGE to the world. We’re hopeful that this will be useful to all economies, especially with MSMEs that are emerging,” said Jenero de Guzman, co-developer of the winning app. “Hopefully this could also be a start of something bigger for EMERGE,” he concluded.
Launched in 2017—and supported by this year’s host economy the United States, APEC Secretariat, The Asia Foundation, and Google—the APEC Digital Prosperity Award provides a special platform to take forward the work of APEC in enabling economies to support innovation, access the digital infrastructure that increases economic efficiencies and productivity, utilize technological applications, and improve the livelihoods of the people in the region.
For further details, please contact: