Government committed to promoting SMEs' integration into global value chains
The Government is committed to supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by facilitating their access to markets and deeper integration into the global value chains (GVCs), the Under Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Dr Bernard Chan, said at the 24th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Small and Medium Enterprises Ministerial Meeting (SMEMM) in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, today (September 15).
The theme of the SMEMM this year is "Enhancing MSME (micro, small and medium enterprises) competitiveness and innovation in the digital age". Participating ministers and delegations exchanged views on three sub-themes, namely "Facilitating SME's access to market and deeper integration into GVC"; "Enabling business environment for SME through better access to technology, management and capacity building in training, consultancy and business matching"; and "Strengthening APEC entrepreneurship in the digital age: promoting start-up and business ethics".
Dr Chan made a presentation on the first sub-theme. He said, "The Hong Kong Government has been providing multifold support to enhance Hong Kong enterprises' competitiveness for their greater participation in the GVCs."
He said the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) has been helping SMEs "explore and connect" with the global market through more than 40 offices globally. The HKTDC hosts more than 30 exhibitions yearly, and publishes more than 20 product magazines and industry supplements annually with a readership of 5 million buyers in more than 200 countries and regions. Apart from offering an integrated marketing solution for buyers and suppliers worldwide, it will also take trade fairs and exhibitions online towards the end of this year through setting up virtual exhibition platforms coinciding with physical exhibitions organised in Hong Kong.
On government support, Dr Chan said the Government runs a Dedicated Fund on Branding, Upgrading and Domestic Sales to assist Hong Kong enterprises in exploring and expanding the Mainland market through developing brands, among others. The Government has also set up the Innovation and Technology Fund to encourage and assist Hong Kong enterprises to upgrade their technological level and introduce innovative ideas to their business. In addition, the Government is funding research and development (R&D) centres to help drive applied R&D and promote commercialisation of R&D results and technology transfer.
To enhance the physical movement of goods across borders, Dr Chan added that Hong Kong has implemented a pilot Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) Programme under which local companies having met pre-determined security standards are accredited as AEOs and enjoy appropriate customs facilitation.
Dr Chan concluded in his presentation, "Like those in all other APEC economies, SMEs are the backbone of Hong Kong's economy, and the Government is committed to supporting them. We aim to help them transform and upgrade, and also market themselves so that they can be competitive in the face of intensified international competition."
Dr Chan will return to Hong Kong this evening.
Ends/Friday, September 15, 2017