Resolution on Promoting Financial Access and Vocational Training for Small and Medium Enterprises for Employment and Peace


27th Annual Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum
14-17 January 2019

Resolution on Promoting Financial Access and Vocational Training for Small and Medium Enterprises for Employment and Peace

APPF 27/RES/09

(Sponsored by Australia, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Indonesia, Japan, and Mexico)

We, the parliamentarians of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF), gathering in the historic city of Siem Reap, Kingdom of Cambodia, for the 27th Annual Meeting of APPF under the theme “Strengthening Parliamentary Partnership for Peace, Security and Sustainable Development”:

Acknowledging the results of 26 years of dialogue and partnership in the APPF area on a wide range of issues including the economy, trade and sustainable development, which has contributed to improving relations among our countries and to achieving stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region;

Recalling previous APPF resolutions, including APPF26/RES/03 adopted in January 2018 in Hanoi, on supporting the Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in the digital age;

Referring to United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/RES/71/279 adopted in 2017, acknowledging the importance of SMEs in achieving Agenda 2030 and its goals - specifically SDG 4: considerably increasing the number of young people and adults that have the necessary competences, in particular technical and professional ones, to access employment, decent work and business, and SDG 8: promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all;

Considering the importance of modernising Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to better integrate and participate in global value chains and markets through both investment in human capital and commercial integration in the region;

Noting that SMEs play an important role in driving innovation and job creation particularly for women and youth, which is crucial for contributing to poverty alleviation and ensuring peace and stability in the region and beyond;

Recognising WTO’s World Trade Report 2016 on leveling the trading field for SMEs, propose cooperative approaches to promoting SME participation in trade and the Agreement on Trade Facilitation aims to improve the efficiency of value chains in the Asia-Pacific region and facilitating the integration of SMEs in regional and global value chains;

Recalling Working Group Strategic Plan 2017-2020, (Doc. No.: 2016/SOM3/SCE/003 of the APEC Small and Medium Enterprises Ministerial Meeting, submitted in Peru 7-8 September 2016), which considered SMEs as engines of inclusive growth and prosperity; and

Understanding that SMEs face difficulties in accessing finance and capacity building programs, and that skills development and financing are needed to support SMEs to be competitive, innovative, adaptable and growing sustainably.


1. Suggest APPF Member States to design, implement, monitor and evaluate policies aimed at enhancing financial access, skill training, competitiveness, innovation, connectivity, science and technology for SMEs and embedding such policies in national development plans and strategies, particularly for women, youth, indigenous peoples and peoples with limited abilities;

2. Urge Member States to simplify and synchronize regulations and administrative procedures in order to achieve a business-friendly environment for SMEs;

3. Encourage APPF governments and parliaments to create favorable regulatory frameworks to enable SMEs to access various banking and financial services with equitable conditions;

4. Recommend Member States to consider the introduction of regulatory provisions ensuring timely payment for services rendered by SMEs;

5. Call on Member States to encourage investments in education, training, lifelong learning, innovation, connectivity, science and technology in response to the critical skill requirements of SMEs and the changing global business environment;

6. Promote the role of SMEs in economic integration in the Asia-Pacific region and the global supply chain through their active participation in the multilateral trading system and other international trade mechanisms on the basis of mutual respect and inclusiveness in adherence to WTO agreements;

7. Strengthen the capacity of SMEs to reap the benefits of global trade in the age of digitalisation, and improve additional skills development for SMEs to adapt to the 4th Industrial Revolution; and

8. Encourage Asia-Pacific governments and parliaments to promote cooperation among Member States on the exchange of information, best practices and experience with regulations and laws, as well as with educational and vocational training to increase employability and leverage optimal human resources in order to enhance productivity and sustain economic growth and development.


Resolution on Promoting Financial Access and Vocational Training for Small and Medium Enterprises for Employment and Peace

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