Therefore, the APEC Internet and Digital Economy Roadmap must be able to support the integration of MSMEs into the digital economy
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian government has urged the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum to provide global market access to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) through integration into the digital economy.

The request was conveyed by the Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Trade at the APEC Forum Ministerial Meeting, which was held virtually, for the first time, on November 16, 2020, according to a release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that was received here on Tuesday.

In her statement, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said that some differences between several economies have disrupted APEC's efforts in the last two years. It is the time for APEC to set aside differences and restore world confidence, she remarked.

This can be achieved through, among other things, the Post-2020 APEC Vision, which will serve as APEC's fundamental guide for the next 20 years, building on the APEC Bogor Goals 1994, which expire this year, Marsudi said.

The Bogor Goals were a declaration adopted at the 1994 APEC Summit in Bogor, which aimed to create a free trade and investment system by 2010 for developed countries, and, at the latest, by 2020 for developing countries.

Marsudi stressed that with a strong vision, APEC can achieve strong, balanced, safe, sustainable, and inclusive economic growth. In order to achieve these goals, the Indonesian Foreign Minister emphasized two things.

First, APEC collaboration must benefit all APEC members, she said. This can be achieved by increasing connectivity, she advised. APEC must continue and synergize various regional connectivity initiatives, put aside competition, and focus on beneficial cooperation, she added.

Second, APEC collaboration must be felt by all the people of APEC economic members, she said.

Given that MSMEs represent 97 percent of all businesses and more than 50 percent of the collaborative workforce, the minister said, APEC should also focus efforts on providing access to the global value chain for MSMEs and encouraging their participation in the digital economy.

"Therefore, the APEC Internet and Digital Economy Roadmap must be able to support the integration of MSMEs into the digital economy," Marsudi noted.

APEC's Post-2020 vision aims to achieve an open, dynamic, resilient, and peaceful Asia Pacific community by 2040.

Trade and investment, digital technology, and quality economic growth are the three main pillars for realizing the Post-2020 APEC Vision, Marsudi said.

The Post-2020 APEC Vision is expected to be endorsed by the APEC Economic Leaders at the 2020 APEC Summit, which will be held online on November 20, 2020.

The 2020 APEC Ministerial Meeting resulted in the release of a joint statement on the results of APEC's work in 2020, including efforts to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, the utilization of the digital economy and technology, and political support for the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. (INE)

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Reporter: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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