APEC’s Impact on the SMEs in the Philippines

Date of publishing: 19/11/2015 10:00

Meta: What are the specific benefits of APEC 2015? Is it really worth spending P10 billion, massive inconveniences, and public anger on?
Has APEC really made impact? Did it really leave something beneficial for the country? These are important questions to ask and discuss considering the billions of pesos spent for the event and the massive inconvenience it has caused the public.

In his speech at the APEC SME Summit, President Aquino said that he couldn’t help but be “impressed by what APEC has been able to achieve.” You may ask, what specific achievements? In the eyes of ordinary Filipinos, the APEC Summit is nothing but a major inconvenience. Not many can see beyond the encumbering closing of roads, no-pay holiday declaration, and the temporary solutions to the unsightly parts of Manila.


However, whatever doubts there are on what specific APEC achievements impressed President Aquino, it cannot be denied that APEC brought at least a few good things to the Philippines, especially for the SME sector.

These benefits are as follows:

1. The establishment of ABAC

ABAC or the APEC Business Advisory Council is a government entity that was created in the first APEC summit in Manila to provide advice for the Osaka Action Agenda’s implementation as well as on other priorities of the business sector. The Council also addresses requests for information on issues affecting businesses and to provide business perspectives on points of cooperation. ABAC is not a creation of the current APEC summit but it is an entity that continues to be useful for the SME sector.

2. Inviting attention to the Philippines

An examination of APEC’s attendance would reveal that nearly 9 out of 10 participants are from overseas. For a number of days, the Philippines has become a major stage for people from different parts of the world who are interested in doing business in the country. That they took the time to come to the Philippines shows that they are interested in what’s going on in the country and that they are likely receptive to putting their investments here if given the right opportunities. The APEC Summit is a chance for the Philippines to be marketed as a good investment destination. Foreign media have also flocked to the event, opening the possibility for the country to be seen by the international community in a new light.

3. Emphasis on inclusive economic growth

SMEs are getting the limelight in this year’s APEC event. The Philippine government and the rest of the APEC member economies are acknowledging the importance of SMEs and are taking steps to promote and propagate them. At the launching day of APEC 2015 at Green Sun Hotel, Philippine Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo emphasized the goal of underscoring the significance of small and medium enterprises in the country’s economy.

The convention or understanding completed at APEC 2015 may not be legally binding but they create opportunities for different economies to cooperate and share knowledge and strategies that could benefit everyone. The fact that leaders, influences, businessmen, and media people from different parts of the world gathered in the country is already a massive opportunity for the Filipino business sector.

FlySpaces takes part in promoting the APEC SME Summit’s theme, "INNOVATION AND BIG IDEAS: PUSHING BOUNDARIES" through innovation as it offers innovative solutions for businesses, startups, and freelancers who need office or work spaces but are trying to find ways to significantly reduce their costs in obtaining such spaces. We offer a cost-efficient way for businesses to find conducive office, conference, training, and event spaces in Manila, and soon in other parts of Asia. Moreover, FlySpaces serves as a platform that allows those who have rentable spaces to more easily find tenants or clients. This ingenious business concept is something that takes advantage of Manila’s booming property sector and growing attractiveness to investors.


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