Apec meet fosters SME business matching

Apec meet fosters SME business matching

Thailand has planned another business matching event with Japan, Korea and China to develop joint ventures, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to help drive the economy, says Industry Minister Atchaka Sibunruang.

The business matching project was initiated at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) ministerial meeting in Peru last week, where trade and industry ministers were keen on creating joint ventures for startups and SMEs between investors from those countries, she said.

During the meeting, there were businesses from the 21 Apec member countries, mostly SMEs, which expressed interest to start investing in Thailand.

As a result, the Apec ministerial meeting saw the creation of "Strategic Plan 2017-2020", with an eye towards supporting investment of SMEs in member countries, said Ms Atchaka.

She said joint ventures between Thai SMEs and other investors in Asia are expected to help create new innovations which could push Thai SMEs onto a sustainable growth track.

"During the meeting, the Thai government presented policies to help support investment, especially SMEs, which attracted several foreign investors," said Ms Atchaka.

Apart from attracting foreign SMEs to start doing business in Thailand, the Apec meeting provided opportunities for SMEs, mostly in Asia, to attract foreign investors to start investing in their countries.

She said there are many models of SME development and joint ventures that can help companies become more technologically advanced and innovative.

Ms Atchaka said next year's Apec ministerial meeting on SMEs would take place in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, where members are expected to review their progress regarding the action plan to develop SMEs.

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