The Department of Trade and Industry Undersecretary Dr. Ceferino S. Rodolfo said that the First Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2016 Senior Officials’ Meeting (APEC SOM1) at Lima, Peru last week welcomed Philippines initiatives to further mainstream micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) into global value chains (GVCs).  “At the meeting, the Philippines strongly advocated to sustain the gains we have achieved to integrate MSMEs in the global value chain in APEC year. APEC 2016 is helping us advance specific, concrete, and practical interventions that contribute to efforts to achieve truly inclusive growth that benefits all member economies,” said Rodolfo who is also Senior Officials Meeting Lead (SOM) for the Philippines.

According to Rodolfo, Peru has explicitly expressed their support of the Philippines’ initiatives in 2015and has likewise encouraged succeeding hosts of APEC such as Viet Nam (2017) and Papua New Guinea (2018) to adopt a multi-year approach in their hosting.

Rodolfo said that the Philippines stressed the need to integrate SMEs into regional and production networks during the recently concluded APEC SOM1 in Peru. “MSMEs provide critical support and complementation to larger enterprises. Governments are in a position to support MSMEs by building MSME capacity and implementing regional and global approaches,” Rodolfo added.

Senior officials, who participated in the APEC SOM1, also advanced work in addressing trade barriers encountered by firms in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly MSMEs, by agreeing to implement the Boracay Action Agenda to Globalize MSMEs (BAA-MSMEs) beginning this year.

The BAA-MSMEs sets new indicators and targets through key actions in trade facilitation, e-commerce, financing and institutional support including for women entrepreneurs to promote the development of dynamic and global MSMEs. An annual reporting template proposed by the Philippines, which will monitor each member economies’ progress leading up to the BAA stocktake and midterm review in 2018 as well as the final review and reporting in 2020, was supported by member economies and will be continuously discussed in the APEC fora.

As an example of economy-led support to MSME integration in the Global Value Chain (GVC), Rodolfo cited the work of the Philippines with Malaysia on the implementation of the Global Value Chain-SME for Automotive Sector (GSAS) Project. The GSAS project aims to illustrate Global Value Chain (GVC) mapping in the region, identify best practices in GVC integration, and determine non-tariff barriers on trade and investment that SMEs face, before developing practical solutions to address these barriers. “APEC Member economics will now work on building targeted technical capacity building through the development of the APEC Regional Automotive Supplier Excellence Program (RASEP),” he added.

In the Philippines, the DTI is strengthening the local automotive industry through the implementation of the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) Program which aims to engage key players such as SMEs to participate in various production activities along GVCs, such as automotive parts and components manufacturing and whole vehicle assembly.  The CARS Program provides fiscal support for investments in the manufacture of whole body large plastic parts, other strategic parts that are not currently produced locally, and provides variable incentives to induce both volume production and logistics efficiency.

“Going forward, the Philippines will work closely with all member economies to advance our current plans and commitments that will strengthen the capacity of MSMEs to participate the in regional and global economy, thus driving economic growth and prosperity,” Rodolfo concluded.