World Economy

APEC Body to Benefit SMEs

APEC Body to Benefit SMEs APEC Body to Benefit SMEs

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation launched on Sunday, November 15 the APEC Trade Repository (APECTR), a single, online reference point on APEC member economies’ trade and tariff regimes.

APECTR aims to further promote transparency, connectivity and cross-border trade facilitation among the 21-member economies of APEC. It is a single reference point for the small and medium enterprises to conduct easier cross border trade in the Asia Pacific, Sputnik reported.

“We address the problem of access to information. Here we provide the information on various areas—rate of tariffs, preferential tariffs, rules of origin, best practices in trade facilitation, other trade measures, trade and customs laws, procedural and documentary requirements,” assistant secretary at the Philippines Department of Trade and Industry Ceferino Rodolfo said at launching press conference in Manila.

The information provided by APECTR helps the businesses in APEC economies learn more about requirements and procedures of different APEC countries.

The proposal for APECTR was first presented by the Philippines during the First Senior Officials’ Meeting in Clark, Pampanga, in February this year, NewsNow reported.

In September 2015 during SOM3, APEC adopted the initiative and agreed to launch the APECTR website ( this month, in time for the APEC ministerial meeting and APEC economic leaders’ meeting, a contribution to the overarching theme of inclusive growth by providing information to those who want to participate in cross-border trade.

The role of MSMEs for inclusive growth is one of the pillars of this year’s APEC, which is themed, “Building Inclusive Economies, Building a Better World.”

Since 1989, APEC has worked on reducing tariffs and other trade barriers across the region, creating an environment for the safe and efficient movement of goods, services, and people across borders in the region through policy alignment, as well as economic and technical cooperation.

“The APECTR also supports the Boracay Action Agenda to globalize MSMEs, as agreed by trade ministers in May 2015,” said Rodolfo.

He said that in consultations with MSMEs, which account for about a third of the gross domestic product, represent 96%-98% of all registered businesses, and employ more than 50% of the entire domestic workforce, “easy access to trade-related information has been consistently cited as a critical barrier to their being able to penetrate export markets, or being able to access alternative inputs from overseas.”

APEC, established in 1989, promotes free trade throughout the Asia-Pacific region. The APEC forum includes Russia, US, China, Canada, the Philippines, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Brunei.