President of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) Vu Tien Loc said the forum focused on discussing, sharing and proposing measures to develop economy in the region.
This was also the first forum to talk about the startup ecosystem – which is an important prerequisite to promote entrepreneurship and effectiveness of startup businesses, he said.
The fact shows that small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) plays a “backbone” role in all global economic sectors, he said, adding that the establishment and engagement in the global value chains of millions of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) have been a driving force for the world’s economic development.
The Joint Statement issued at the forum provides recommendations for the most important elements of the startup ecosystem, including government support policies, innovations, and entrepreneurship education.
It also mentions the development of startup support services, especially financial and consultative matters, as well as the building of a green supply chain and the performance of corporate social responsibility.
The VCCI President noted that from 2017, the APEC Start-ups Forum will become an annual event to create opportunities for member economies to share experience and announce startup indicators in the region, in addition to proposing solutions and recommendations to promote startup activities and build an APEC startup network.
The content of the Joint Statement will be brought for discussions at the upcoming APEC Small and Medium Enterprises Ministerial Meeting (SMEMM) in Ho Chi Minh City on September 15, he added.
MSMEs account for over 97 percent of all enterprises and employ over half of the workforce across APEC economies. MSMEs contribute significantly to economic growth, accounting for between 20 percent and 50 percent of GDP in most APEC economies. However, they account for only 35 percent or less of direct exports.
Established in 1989, APEC comprises 21 economies, including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong (China), Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, the US, and Vietnam