7 - 9 SEPTEMBER 2021
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Sharing of best practices in formulating inclusive and comprehensive SMEs and entrepreneurship policy adopted by respective APEC economies.

The sessions will also explore safety net measures in various economies to facilitate SMEs during and post COVID-19 as well as digitalization practices within each focus area. Understanding the challenges and opportunities through meaningful public and private dialogue is integral in building back better, stronger, and more resilient economies.

Day 1
Forum on Sharing of Best Practices
8.45 AM
Online Registration and Reception
9.30 AM
Context Setting on SME Development: The Future of SMEs
Mr. Rizal Nainy
Chief Executive Officer of SME Corp. Malaysia
Session 1
Sharing of best practices in formulating inclusive and comprehensive SMEs and entrepreneurship policy adopted by respective APEC economies, focusing on six (6) priority areas, namely Innovation and Technology Adoption, Human Capital Development, Access to Financing, Market Access, Legal and Regulatory Environment, as well as Infrastructure. The sessions will explore safety net measures in various economies to facilitate SMEs during and post COVID-19 and also digitalization practices.
9.45 AM
Forum 1: Innovation and Technology Adoption
The COVID-19 crisis has brought into sharp focus the need to build resilient, sustainable and inclusive ecosystems for MSMEs with technology and digitalisation taking the centre stage. It has long been proven that technology enables innovation being created and deployed in a rapid growth whereby technology can improve ways of running business making it faster, safer and scalable.
10.15 AM
Forum 2: Human Capital Development
Talent or skills mismatch is one of the main challenges faced by MSMEs. Empirical evidence showed that employees are not well-matched with their current jobs and this situation is exacerbated by the COVID-19, whereby jobs are at the greatest risk in MSMEs. The process of developing human capital and entrepreneurship therefore requires creating the necessary environments in which employees can learn better and apply innovative ideas, acquire new competencies, develop skills, behaviours and attitudes.
10.45 AM
Forum 3: Access to Financing
Border closure, travel bans, and quarantines have significantly affected spending in vulnerable sectors where the presence of MSMEs are prevalent. Cash flow emerged as the key challenge during the pandemic, followed by reduced in demand and supply chain disruption. Timely, sufficient and innovative access to financing is crucial for the survival of MSMEs during this challenging period.
11.15 AM
11.30 AM
Forum 4: Market Access
With the "new normal" comes a new way to market to customers and sourcing from suppliers. Diversifying one’s suppliers and buyers, including through participation in international trade, enable businesses to fall back on alternative channels while networking with industry players in the business ecosystem bolster ability to cope in crisis situations. Pivoting market access strategy by improving online presence, networking virtually and leveraging on social media may help keep business thriving during trying times.
12.00 PM
Forum 5: Legal and Regulatory Environment
The COVID-19 crisis has clearly demonstrated today’s enormous and almost totally new regulatory challenges. It has made clear that a comprehensive regulatory overhaul must be undertaken to prepare for an uncertain future. Adapting tested, decades-old regulatory tools to these new challenges by making them more flexible, modern, and innovative, with an effective communication strategy to business community may facilitate the adherence to rules and regulations while helping MSMEs navigate the unprecedented complexity of reopening an economy that is dependent on public health in a cost-efficient manner.
12.30 PM
Forum 6: Infrastructure
An efficient infrastructure support including technical infrastructure, trade clearance and facilitation system are also important to MSMEs and entrepreneurs as it affects the cost of doing business. More importantly, it can be the catalyst to help MSMEs adapt to the changed business environment and build resilience with a view to transform economies effectively, improving connectivity and boosting business competitiveness especially for young entrepreneurs.
1.10 PM
End of Sessions for Day 1 - Forum
Day 2
Breakout Sessions
(by invitation only)
8.45 AM
Online Registration and Reception
9.30 AM
Breakout Sessions Concurrently
  1. Six (6) breakout sessions will be held with each session focusing respective focus areas;
  2. One (1) hour allocation for the session;
  3. Maximum five (5) pages of slide for each presentation.
10.30 AM
10.40 AM
Breakout Session Group Presentation
12.10 PM
Finetuning / Finalisation of Policy Recommendation for Roundtable Meeting & Wrap Up
1.00 PM
End of Sessions for Day-2 - Breakout Session
Day 3
Roundtable Meeting
(by invitation only)
8.45 AM
Online Registration
9.10 AM
Roundtable Meeting 1: Policy Recommendation on Innovation & Technology Adoption
9.30 AM
Roundtable Meeting 2: Policy Recommendation on Human Capital Development
9.50 AM
Roundtable Meeting 3: Policy Recommendation on Access to Financing
10.10 AM
Roundtable Meeting 4: Policy Recommendation on Market Access
10.30 AM
Roundtable Meeting 5: Policy Recommendation on Legal & Regulatory Environment
10.50 AM
Roundtable Meeting 6: Policy Recommendation on Infrastructure
11.10 AM
11.20 AM
Conclusion of Policy Recommendations by the Meeting Chair
12.00 PM
End of Programme


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