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The APEC SME Finance Forum: Leveraging Technologies to Scale up Supply Chain Finance

11 September 2017, Ho Chi Minh City – The APEC SME Finance Forum was held today under the theme “Leveraging Technologies to Scale up Supply Chain Finance” within the framework of the APEC Small and Medium Enterprises Ministerial Meeting (SMEMM) and Related Meetings.

This Forum brought together APEC and Vietnamese finance and SME development policy-makers, industry practitioners and academic researchers.

The Forum focused on exchanging experiences and lessons learned on SME finance innovation, particularly on the development and challenges of the financial supply chains in the region. As a systematic way to reach out to SME clients by leveraging chain relationships and modern technologies, supply chain finance has found to be useful for integrating a great number of SMEs into the formal financial system.

Participants also highlighted the work of the Asia–Pacific Financial Forum (APFF) on financial infrastructure reforms (secured transactions, credit reporting and insolvency) as well as on trade and supply chain finance in support of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). They suggested these information to be disseminated to policy-makers, financial institution and MSME communities through APEC Financial Infrastructure Development Network (FIDN).

Participants shared the view that financing using non-traditional data (e.g., from e-commerce and payments), leveraging the electronic finance platforms, based on movable assets, etc. are the new ways to upgrade the MSME finance markets in APEC economies.

Addressing the Forum, Nguyen Hoa Cuong, Chair of the APEC SME Working Group, stated that MSMEs are the driving force behind a resilient economy, and their participation on global supply chains promote international trade. However, these enterprises still find difficulties to get the financing they need, seeing it as a major barrier to their growth.

“Supply chain finance could be the useful way to support the strengthening of MSMEs competitiveness and innovation and support APEC economies to leverage more cross-border supply chain finance to deepen regional economic integration for MSMEs”, Cuong said.

This Forum, a key intiative of the Cebu Action Plan (CAP) launched in 2015, aimed at strengthening the understanding and cross-economy exchanges among policy-makers and practitioners on the latest digital innovations and financial infrastructure reforms in the area of MSME finance. It was also designed to contribute to increased access to financial services for MSMEs through public-private dialogues, cross-economy experience sharing among policy-makers and market players on the relevant innovations and reforms in a digital age.

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Managed by: VCCI Organizing Committee of APEC CEO Summit 2017 (VOCA)