APEC Economic Leaders (Heads of State)
2022 Leaders’ Declaration
In order to achieve post-COVID-19 economic recovery, it is our priority to drive growth-focused structural reform that is designed to be inclusive, sustainable, and innovation-friendly. This includes fostering an enabling environment for businesses of all types, particularly micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and start-ups, and collaborating to improve opportunities for them to be competitive, specialised, innovative, and expand into the international markets. We reaffirm our commitment to the Enhanced APEC Agenda for Structural Reform (EAASR) and endeavour to make collective and individual progress, including on the ease of doing business.
2021 APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting Declaration
New Zealand, 12 November 2021
“We need to support the wellbeing and security of all our people, and their equitable participation in the economy, so that no one is left behind. Recognising the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 on MSMEs, women and others with untapped economic potential, we are also taking action to drive a more inclusive economic recovery. The La Serena Roadmap for Women and Inclusive Growth is bringing women’s economic empowerment to the foreground, with a significant number of initiatives currently underway across APEC. We support the full and accelerated implementation of this roadmap. APEC has also paid particular attention to the economic empowerment of other groups with untapped economic potential. This year this has included Indigenous Peoples and those in rural and remote areas, among others. We will continue to deepen our cooperation in these areas, where relevant, to ensure their access to economic opportunities, including to improve access to global markets, and encourage the transition of economic actors from the informal to the formal economy.
We have provided unprecedented levels of support to all our businesses, including micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), to help them navigate the crisis. We will continue supporting MSME digital empowerment by tackling systemic barriers to entrepreneurship and reinforcing capacity building. We will also deepen our efforts to respond to the impact of the pandemic on labour market participation and the future of work. Digital connectivity and innovation are critical across our efforts towards an inclusive, resilient and sustainable recovery. We need to continue to narrow the digital divide by promoting digital skills, encouraging the adoption of innovative working methods, expanding access to digital tools and infrastructure, and ensuring our MSMEs and start-ups are able to harness new and emerging technologies and digital eco-systems.”
2020 APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting Declaration
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 20 November 2020
“Innovation and digitalisation enable governments, businesses and people to carry out their activities and empower inclusive economic participation by all. We will foster an enabling environment for the development of the digital economy, including to open new opportunities for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). We aim to promote innovative technologies and foster a reliable, interoperable, open, accessible and secure ICT environment, narrow the existing digital, skills and regulatory gaps, and encourage development in digital infrastructure and transformation. We acknowledge the importance of cooperation in facilitating the flow of data and strengthening consumer and business trust in digital transactions.
We recognise the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 on MSMEs, women and others with untapped economic potential. We intend to pursue inclusive economic policies that support their recovery and growth through effective and equal participation in economic activities and opportunities to contribute to economic recovery efforts. We support and welcome the implementation of the La Serena Roadmap for Women and Inclusive Growth.”
2019 APEC Host Economy Leader’s Statement
Santiago, Chile, 7 December 2019
“Important progress in 2019 was made across all of APEC’s committees and working groups. Under the theme “Connecting people, Building the Future”, APEC was determined to put people at the center of APEC’s work. For this reason, in 2019 Chile’s priorities were: Digital Society; Integration 4.0; Women, SMEs and Inclusive Growth; and Sustainable Growth.
Chile also led efforts to advance outcomes in trade facilitation and global value chains, as well as smart trade, borders and logistics. APEC’s work should continue to prioritize enabling MSMEs and start-ups to globalize, take advantage of new digital technologies, and access financing.”
2018 APEC Economic Leaders Meeting Declaration
Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, 18 November 2018
We underscore that it is crucial to improve the business environment for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) as part of our efforts to advance inclusive growth.
We reaffirm our commitment to foster integrity in the public and private sectors. We recognise the importance of our efforts to combat and prevent corruption, promote transparency and good governance and strengthen the rule of law.
2017 APEC Economic Leaders Meeting Declaration
Da Nang, Viet Nam, 11 November 2017
We commit to strengthen the ability of MSMEs to compete in international markets and participate in global value chains through the following actions:
Create an enabling environment for MSMEs, including by promoting business ethics;
2016 APEC Economic Leaders Meeting Declaration
Lima, Peru, 20 November 2016
We recognize that micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) are an essential component for economies to achieve quality growth and prosperity. As sources of innovation and employment, MSMEs are also well placed to promote entrepreneurship, to benefit from structural reform and to advance sustainability in our economies, maximizing the impact of policies, strategies and best practices. Strengthening of MSMEs will imply concrete progress in…strengthening ethical business practices to support MSMEs’ growth and cross border trade…
2014 APEC Economic Leaders Meeting Declaration
Beijing, China, 11 November 2014
We welcome efforts to strengthen SMEs’ cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region, involve SMEs in APEC production and supply chains, promote ethical business practices, as well as to empower their capacity to operate in an international market.
2012 APEC Economic Leaders Meeting Declaration – Annex E
Vladivostok, Russia, 8-9 September 2012
We will work together and with international and regional development institutions to aggressively combat fraud, corruption, and the misuse of public resources. We will also support the efforts of respective member economies to build capacity to combat corruption by strengthening anti-corruption bodies, the rule of law, fiscal transparency and accountability; by reforming public procurement systems; by developing and promoting mechanisms that support effective return of recovered assets; and by encouraging the implementation of high standard codes of ethics.
We recognize the important role of business and public-private partnerships in promoting the elaboration of codes of conduct in the private sector and measures to fight corruption, especially measures that support the promotion of ethical business practices in interactions between government, business and other stakeholders. We welcome efforts by our SME Ministers, industries and academics to promote voluntary, industry-specific APEC principles that aid in this effort.
APEC Ministers (Foreign and Trade)
2022 APEC Ministerial Meeting
We will continue to actively implement all four pillars of the EAASR and to cooperate on the Third Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) Action Plan, which focuses on encouraging inclusive and resilient growth, especially for women and MSMEs, as well as to refresh the Action Plan to align measurement of our progress with international best practices.
2021 APEC Ministerial Meeting
Wellington, New Zealand, 9 November 2021
“MSMEs play a significant role throughout our region, providing an essential foundation of employment and economic growth, and we remain committed to fostering greater participation of MSMEs in regional and global markets. To this end, we welcome the findings of the Final Review of the Boracay Action Agenda (BAA) to Globalize MSMEs Study Report. There is still work to be done, especially regarding MSME digitalisation and access to finance.”
2020 APEC Ministerial Meeting
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 16 November 2020
“We recognise the unprecedented economic, health and social challenges brought about by the pandemic, including the disproportionate impact on MSMEs, women and others with untapped economic potential. Together in solidarity, we reiterate our concern about the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable developing economies. We will continue to cooperate, and act swiftly to foster quality growth, safeguard the lives and livelihoods of our people to enhance the resilience of our economies and support strong and inclusive economic recovery.”
2019 APEC Ministerial Documents
Singapore, 7 December 2019
“However, women of diverse backgrounds continue to face multiple disproportionate barriers to economic empowerment compared to men, for example, when accessing credit and capital, participating in formal labor markets, and in entry, retention and advancement in the workforce.
In view of this, in 2019, “Women, SMEs and Inclusive Growth” was identified as a priority by Chile to give new momentum to our efforts. Through this Roadmap, we seek to provide concrete direction and catalyze policy actions across APEC that will drive greater inclusive economic development and participation of women in the Asia-Pacific region.
Key Action Areas
This Roadmap seeks to encourage action in the following cross-cutting key areas, without prejudice to additional Key Action Areas that could support our overall efforts:
- Empowering women through access to capital and markets
- Promote and facilitate cooperation in the public and private sector to help ensure that women, including women of diverse backgrounds, and women-led micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), can access capital and assets, in both local and international markets.
- Enhance women-owned and women-led MSMEs’ ability to participate in global value chains.
- Provide capacity building activities and opportunities for networking, mentoring, and digital skills-building, among other core skills, to increase women’s business competencies and encourage their participation in the digital economy and innovation.
- Exchange experiences and best practices that can effectively increase the participation of women in local, regional, and global markets.”
2018 APEC Ministerial Meeting Declaration
Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, 15 November 2018
We urge third parties to join the effort to promote ethical business practices which are crucial to the sustainable growth of MSMEs.
2016 APEC Ministerial Meeting Declaration
Lima, Peru, 18 November 2016
We welcome the outcomes of the third APEC Business Ethics for SMEs Forum, notably the launch of the ethical business frameworks bringing together diverse stakeholders in a new model to eliminate unethical business practices across healthcare systems. We reaffirm the commitment by APEC economies to enhance work with third party intermediaries.
2015 APEC Ministerial Meeting Declaration
Manila, The Philippines, 17 November 2015
We welcome the progress of the APEC Business Ethics for SME Initiative in addressing unethical practices in sectors of export interest to MSMEs, doubling the number of medical devices and biopharmaceutical industry association codes of ethics from 33 in 2012 to 66 in 2015. We welcome the APEC Guide to Implement Multi-Stakeholder Ethical Collaborations in these sectors and encourage member economies to advance the goals of the Nanjing Declaration to Promote Ethical Business Environments through 2020.
2014 APEC Ministerial Meeting Declaration
Beijing, China, 8 November 2014
We endorse the outcomes of the first APEC Business Ethics for SMEs Forum in the Nanjing Declaration to Promote Ethical Business Environments in the Medical Device and Biopharmaceutical Sectors (2014-2020)…We welcome the progress in developing and implementing codes of ethics in member economies to create ethical business environments that support innovation and sustainable growth, especially for SMEs.
2013 APEC Ministerial Meeting Declaration
Bali, Indonesia, 5 October 2013
We reaffirmed the importance and the need to enhance prevention and enforcement in addressing corruption, bribery and other financial crimes and illicit trade that imperil our security and prosperity agenda, including the safeguarding of public assets, natural resources, and human capital. We also reaffirmed our commitment to create ethical business environments that support sustainable economic growth, in particular by strengthening ethical standards, and we encouraged all stakeholders to implement APEC’s high standard principles for codes of business ethics. We applauded the Anti-Corruption and Transparency Working Group (ACTWG)’s continued leadership in collaborating with other APEC fora. We further committed to establish among member economies an “APEC Network of Anti-Corruption Authorities and Law Enforcement Authorities (ACT-NET)”, under the auspices of ACTWG to promote networking and foster relationship-building among anti-corruption and law enforcement officials who can assist one another in detecting, investigating and prosecuting corruption and domestic and foreign bribery, money laundering, and illicit trade cases; to provide a forum that can facilitate bilateral and multilateral discussions of such cases, as appropriate; and to facilitate the sharing of expertise and experiences in detecting, investigating and prosecuting such cases (see Annex D).
2012 APEC Ministerial Meeting Declaration
Vladivostok, Russia, 5-6 September 2012
We recognize the importance of the development and adoption of innovative practices among small-, medium-, and micro-sized enterprises (SMMEs) in order to create a non-discriminatory and market-driven innovation environment in the Asia-Pacific region. We recognize the profound role of SMMEs in generating innovative ideas and instruct officials to undertake additional work to support innovative SMMEs. We reaffirm our commitment to make it easier for SMMEs to do business in the region; address trade and investment barriers that impact SMMEs; and promote trade, economic, information and technical exchanges, and cooperation; and enhance the international competitiveness among SMMEs in the region. We also welcome progress in the implementation of APEC principles for voluntary codes of business ethics and look forward to further APEC efforts to strengthen ethical business practices through capacity building activities.
2010 APEC Ministerial Meeting Declaration
Yokohama, Japan, 10-11 November 2010
Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are a significant source of prosperity and employment, and a major contributor to innovation, and thus are a growth engine of the Asia-Pacific region. We welcomed the APEC SMEs Ministerial Meeting in October in Gifu, Japan, that stressed the importance of SMEs’ participation in high-growth sectors and access to global markets. We also welcomed the “Gifu Initiative” as a concrete action package of APEC SME policies which will ensure SMEs’ further growth and development. We also welcomed steps taken to improve SME’s crisis management abilities and understanding of the ethical business practices needed to sustain participation in international trade, and look forward to the development of codes to improve better align industry practices across APEC economies. We also instructed officials to take steps to identify and address barriers that SMEs face in trading in the Asia-Pacific region. We agreed with the SME Ministers that these efforts should commence or be enhanced as soon as possible, based on the recognition that SMEs’ continued growth and development is a key to realize the APEC Leaders’ Growth Strategy.
APEC Small and Medium Enterprise Ministers
2022 APEC SMEs Ministerial Meeting
Phuket, Thailand – 10 September 2022
We acknowledge the role of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in driving economic growth and prosperity in the region. MSMEs make up more than 98 percent of our region’s businesses and represent between 40 percent to 60 percent of GDP in most APEC economies. Promoting a more resilient, inclusive and dynamic trade and investment environment, which will strengthen the role of APEC MSMEs in the global economy, is critical to the economic recovery and the sustainability of the region. We will foster economic growth that brings palpable benefits and greater health and wellbeing to all, including MSMEs and startups. We will also advance MSMEs’ access to finance, global markets, and global value chains as well as assist in building their capacity to effectively participate in the global economy.
2021 APEC SMEs Ministerial Meeting
Wellington, New Zealand, 9 October 2021
“Alongside a global health crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered an unprecedented economic shock. We recognise that this shock has been felt disproportionately by MSMEs across the region and acknowledge the significant actions already undertaken as economies have sought to provide immediate, targeted relief. The unique needs of MSMEs should continue to be addressed by relief programmes as we move through the next phases of the pandemic response and recovery.
We acknowledge the essential role a free, fair, non-discriminatory, transparent, predictable, and open trade and investment environment plays to: enhance MSMEs’ and start-ups’ access to international markets and supply chains; combat the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic; and enable a strong economic recovery.
We affirm the importance of policies and cooperation that enhance MSME growth and resilience.
We pledge to continue to support MSMEs by strengthening digital infrastructure, accelerating digital transformation, narrowing the digital divide, as well as cooperating on facilitating the flow of data and strengthening consumer and business trust in digital transactions.
We encourage further promotion of ethical business practices that support MSMEs and will continue to promote transparency and integrity for SMEs in the internationalization process.
We acknowledge the impact of the pandemic on wellbeing and recognise that supporting MSME owners’ mental wellbeing builds resilience, enabling MSMEs to increase engagement and productivity. We welcome the recent APEC workshop on MSME wellbeing and we support ongoing collaboration on relevant initiatives.
We commit to intensifying our efforts to create an enabling environment for MSMEs to engage in innovative, environmentally sustainable practices and activities, and encourage officials to explore the development of cross-fora initiatives in these areas.”
2020 APEC SMEs Ministerial Meeting
Putrajaya, Malaysia | 23 October 2020
“The unprecedented effects of the COVID-19 crisis on businesses calls for APEC economies to remain steadfast in strengthening an enabling environment for MSMEs through policies and measures that will help them recover and build resiliency. We are committed to helping MSMEs navigate the new normal and welcome the virtual APEC 2020 with the theme of Optimising Human Potential towards a Resilient Future of Shared Prosperity: Pivot. Prioritise. Progress.
We recognise the economic and social impact the pandemic has had on women and women-owned MSMEs. We support the implementation of the La Serena Roadmap for Women and Inclusive Growth, and other initiatives for businesses in APEC economies, especially those that support women-owned MSMEs in driving the economic and social recovery.
In order to facilitate MSMEs’ international trade, we support the commitment expressed by APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade to share and explore ways to facilitate essential movement of people across borders, while following the regulations protecting public health.We are committed to taking individual and collective measures to promote MSMEs access to international markets in the region, to maintain stable regional and global supply chains, and to advance socio-economic recovery and development.
We encourage economies to improve MSMEs access to finance and to diversify funding sources.
We are committed to supporting MSMEs digital transformation efforts and will work together to address the challenges of digitalisation such as security and privacy concerns, skills deficit and digital infrastructure. We are committed to fostering an open, fair, non-discriminatory and market-driven enabling environment for digital economy and MSMEs development.
We will work on developing the digital potential of MSMEs, including women-owned businesses by expanding access to digital tools, removing barriers to digital trade and e-commerce, providing digital skills-building activities, and enhancing access to information and communications technologies for business development and cross-border commerce.”
2019 APEC SME Ministerial Statement
Released on 6 September in Concepción, Chile before the 2019 APEC Business Ethics for SMEs Forum.
We welcome the promotion of ethical business practices that support SMEs and sustainable trade. We encourage further collaboration to address the issues of ethics and to promote transparency and integrity for SMEs in the internationalization process.
2017 APEC Small and Medium Enterprises Ministerial Statement
Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam, 15 September 2017
We reaffirm our commitment to strengthen ethical business practices to free SMEs from the high costs of corruption and support their ability to access global markets. To that end we reaffirm our commitment to the 2014 Nanjing Declaration and its goals.
We congratulated Viet Nam for joining Peru and Canada to reach one of the Nanjing Declaration’s goals – launch of a Consensus Framework for Multi-Stakeholder Ethical Collaboration in the biopharmaceutical and medical device sectors.
We urge APEC economies to implement similar frameworks and continue toward full adoption of APEC Principles for codes of ethics as instructed by APEC Ministers and Leaders.
We welcome the APEC Guidance for Ethical Third Party Intermediary Relationships in the Medical Device Sector and encouraged its implementation. This Guidance serves as a concrete tool to support thousands of SMEs who play a critical role in the medical device sector, such as distributors, wholesalers and sales agents.
2016 APEC Small and Medium Enterprises Ministerial Statement
Lima, Peru, 9 September 2016
We congratulated the United States on the successful outcomes of the APEC Business Ethics for SMEs Initiative in strengthening ethical business practices in key sectors. Heightened and aligned ethical standards through collective action free SMEs from the high costs of corruption and support their ability to access global markets. We congratulated Peru on the conclusion of its Consensus Framework for Multi-Stakeholder Ethical Collaboration in the biopharmaceutical and medical device sectors, bringing together relevant stakeholders in the healthcare system under a common platform. We urged APEC economies to implement similar Frameworks as endorsed under the APEC Nanjing Declaration and continue the full adoption of APEC Principles for codes of ethics as instructed by APEC Ministers and Leaders, and welcomed enhanced work with third party intermediaries. We affirmed the continuing work of the engineering and construction sector to undertake initiatives for SMEs to combat corruption. We supported improved capacity-building at ministries relevant to infrastructure, the examination of specific ways to streamline government processes – including increased use of automation – to improve transparency, the development of an APEC common baseline for ethics self-certification programs, and the establishment of a public-private implementation team to advise Ministers on additional steps to improve the efficient and transparent delivery of vital infrastructure. We extended our appreciation to Peru for hosting the 3rd APEC Business Ethics for SMEs Forum in 2016 and look forward to the 4th APEC Business Ethics for SMEs Forum in Viet Nam.
2015 APEC Small and Medium Enterprises Ministerial Statement
Iloilo, Philippines, 25 September 2015
We agree that corruption and unethical business practices act as a significant market access barrier for MSMEs, which disproportionately impact on their ability to succeed. We agree that APEC economies must continue to address these barriers, as they undermine innovation, job growth, economic stability and cross-border trade. We commend the progress of the APEC Business Ethics for SME Initiative in addressing unethical practices in sectors of export interest to MSMEs. We congratulate the medical device and biopharmaceutical sectors for achieving the Nanjing Declaration’s goal of doubling the number of industry associations that have adopted the Code of Ethics — from 33 to 66.
2014 APEC Small and Medium Enterprises Ministerial Declaration
Nanjing, China, 5 September 2014
Facilitating Ethical Business Environments for SMEs
We reiterated the importance of strengthening ethical business practices in key sectors for APEC SMEs and their partners in the supply chain. Ethical business practices facilitate environments that free SMEs from the high costs of corruption, permit sustainable economic growth, and support SMEs access to global markets. We congratulate the Business Ethics for APEC SMEs Initiative for concluding its fifth year, supporting the successful development of 18 new codes of ethics across 9 APEC economies where they previously did not exist and extending the APEC Principles to nearly 14,000 companies, of which over 8,000 are SMEs.
We welcomed the APEC Business Ethics for SMEs Forum to build stakeholder capacity to implement the APEC Principles and to facilitate multi-stakeholder collaboration. We endorsed the “Nanjing Declaration to Promote Ethical Business Environments in the Medical Device and Biopharmaceutical Sectors (2014-2020)” and extended our support to the achievement of its goals, including the call on APEC member economies to double the number of codes of ethics between 2012 and 2015, working toward further implementation of the APEC Principles by 2020. We expressed our support for the Manila Declaration to advance implementation of APEC Principles for the Construction and Engineering Sector and we encouraged SMEs to utilize the new APEC Business Ethics Web Portal to enhance their ethics compliance knowledge and capacity building skills.
We extended our appreciation to the Philippines for hosting the 2nd APEC Business Ethics for SMEs Forum in 2015 and encouraged the convening of this Forum on an annual basis.
Strengthening Dialogue with the Business Sector
We recognized the wide inclusion of private sectors in SMEWG activities, in particular in the multi-year project on Improving Natural Disaster Resilience of APEC SMEs to Facilitate Trade and Investment, and the multi-year project on Business Ethics Capacity Building for SMEs in Medical Devices, Bio-Pharmaceutical and Construction Sectors.
2014 Small and Medium Enterprises Ministers Nanjing Declaration on Promoting Innovative SME Development
Nanjing, China, 5 September 2014
Improving the policy environment for SME innovation
Promote economic growth and create jobs as well as provide a favorable environment for innovation. For example, support the APEC Business Ethics for SMEs Initiative, notably implementation of the Initiative’s Nanjing Declaration to Promote Ethical Business Environments in the Medical Device and Biopharmaceutical Sectors and Manila Declaration for the Construction and Engineering Sector, convening an annual APEC Business Ethics for SMEs Forum to advance the adoption, and implementation of high standard APEC principles for codes of ethics.
2013 APEC Small and Medium Enterprises Ministerial Declaration
Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, 7 September 2013
Share Recognition on the Importance of Enhancing SME Global Competitiveness
We appreciate the effort under taken by APEC member economies to enhance SME Global Competitiveness among others the Daegu Initiative to promote innovative SMEs and embracing Business Ethics to enhance SMEs’ competitiveness.
Sub-Theme 3: Empowering SMEs to Expand to International Market
We appreciate the capacity building train-the-trainer workshop hosted by Malaysia and the United States to make codes of conduct in the medical device, biopharmaceutical, and construction-engineering sectors functional and operational in companies throughout the APEC region as instructed by Ministers and Leaders. More than 100 newly trained ethics compliance trainers will implement ethics compliance training throughout the APEC and ASEAN trade region in the upcoming year. These work will raise ethics compliance awareness and place ethics compliance at the core of business applications which is an imperative for conducting business in today’s global marketplace.
We appreciate the initiative of The United States to organize “The Workshop on Stakeholder Awareness for the Healthcare sector”. This workshop will increase public and private sector ethics awareness and further facilitate the implementation of business codes of conduct to ease trade barriers in the heathcare sector. We applaud the Bali Statement that fosters ethics compliance among relevant healthcare stakeholders and the creation of an APEC Business Ethics Forum to further facilitate regional cooperation and capacity building in our fight against corruption.
We appreciate the capacity building train-the-trainer workshop hosted by Malaysia and the United States to make codes of conduct in the medical device, biopharmaceutical, and construction-engineering sectors functional and operational in companies throughout the APEC region as instructed by Ministers and Leaders. More than 100 newly trained ethics compliance trainers will implement ethics compliance training throughout the APEC and ASEAN trade region in the upcoming year. This works will not only raise ethics compliance awareness, it will placed ethics compliance at the core of business applications which is an imperative for conducting business in today’s global marketplace.
We appreciate the initiative of The United States to organize “The Workshop on Stakeholder Awareness for the Healthcare sector”. This workshop will increase public and private sector ethics awareness and further facilitate the implementation of business codes of conduct to ease trade barriers in the heathcare sector.
2012 APEC Small and Medium Enterprises Ministerial Declaration
St. Petersburg, Russia, 3 August 2012
We agree that corruption imposes a significant market access barrier and high costs for SMEs. To address this challenge, we endorsed principles for voluntary codes of business ethics for the medical device, biopharmaceutical, and construction/engineering sectors. We recognize the importance of working to raise awareness of these principles. We welcome progress in implementing these principles, through the development of codes of ethics by industry associations and companies and capacity building efforts. We call on other relevant stakeholders, such as professional organizations, to implement voluntary codes consistent with these principles. We urge industry regulators, anti-corruption enforcement authorities, and the relevant entities to encourage, advance, and facilitate acceptance of voluntary industry codes and ethical collaborations consistent with these codes.
2011 APEC Small and Medium Enterprises Ministerial Declaration
Big Sky, Montana, United States, 21 May 2011
Economic growth and job creation in APEC’s member markets can be bolstered by embracing business ethics to enhance the competitiveness of SMEs, promoting the use of new technologies by SMEs to reduce the cost of doing business, and identifying policies that support green SMEs to thrive in a green growth economy.
Discussion on Embracing Business Ethics to Enhance SMEs’ Competitiveness
We agreed that corruption is a significant market access barrier for SMEs that disproportionately impacts their ability to prosper and grow. Ministers agreed that all APEC economies must address corruption, as it undermines innovation, job growth, economic stability and trade among APEC members. Ministers strongly support the APEC Business Ethics for SMEs Initiative to eliminate the high cost of corruption in sectors of export interest to SMEs.
The Ministers endorsed the adoption and implementation of the Kuala Lumpur Principles Medical Device Sector Codes of Ethics (the “KL Principles”), which were developed by an Expert Working Group in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Ministers called on the medical device sector industry associations and their member companies to adopt and implement codes of business ethics consistent with the KL Principles and encouraged capacity building initiatives so that these measures are fully implemented.
Finally, Ministers fully support and look forward to the development of additional sets of voluntary ethical principles or codes of ethics in sectors where SMEs are important stakeholders, beginning with the construction and bio-pharmaceutical sectors.
2010 APEC Small and Medium Enterprises Ministerial Declaration
Gifu, Japan, 2-3 October 2010
In order to strengthen SMEs’ access to global markets, we recognised thatthe following actions are important and we agreed to call the first three actions the “Gifu Initiative.”
Facilitating open and transparent business environments free from the high costs of corruption by the development of APEC codes of business ethics in sectors of export interest to APEC economies, beginning with the medical device sector.
We thanked the United States in advance for hosting the next APEC SME Ministerial and related meetings in May 2011 in Big Sky, Montana. The United States previewed the topics for workshops envisioned for this set of meetings, among other topics, anti-corruption and building clean business environments for APEC SMEs, including the development of APEC codes of business ethics for interested sectors; women’s economic empowerment through entrepreneurial skills development; and trade finance for innovative green technology exports.
APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade
2022 APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Statement of Chair
Bangkok, Thailand – 22 May 2022
“We acknowledge the need to encourage the transition of economic actors from the informal to the formal economy, advance employment and decent work and promote business opportunities to create a conducive environment for the economic inclusion of MSMEs, women and others with untapped economic potential, including through their participation in global value chains.”
2021 APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting Joint Statement
Wellington, New Zealand, 5 June 2021
“It is our responsibility to ensure our economic policies and trade and investment environment also promote equality of opportunity and advance economic inclusion. APEC should move at a faster pace to support businesses of all types, particularly MSMEs and start-ups, to access domestic and international markets.”
2020 APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting Joint Statement
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 25 July 2020
“We reiterate our concern about the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable developing economies. We also recognise the critical need of those most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and to empower all sectors of the community, including MSMEs, to participate in economic recovery. We welcome the varied and continued efforts as well as the contribution of additional resources across APEC to combat the pandemic and support workers and sectors through the economic recovery process.”
2019 APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting Joint Statement
Vina del Mar, Chile, 17 May 2019
“We strongly support the ongoing work across APEC towards the internationalization of Micro, Small and Medium Size Enterprises (MSMEs) and startups. This work should continue to focus on reducing barriers and trade costs through capacity building, supporting innovation, and improving access to new markets, information, digital tools and financing. We commit to redouble our efforts to ensure competitive services markets, given their importance for MSMEs.”
2018 APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Statement
Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, 25-26 May 2018
Strengthening MSMEs’ Competitiveness and Internationalisation in the Digital Age
We encourage efforts to create an enabling environment for MSMEs through strengthening of ethical business practices, facilitating start-ups and fostering innovation in the digital age.
2016 APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Statement
Arequipa, Peru, 17-18 May 2016
Strengthening Business Ethics for SMEs
We acknowledge progress by the Business Ethics for APEC SMEs Initiative in doubling the number of industry association codes of ethics, expanding high-standard ethical business practices to more than 19,000 enterprises. We reaffirm the importance of ethical practices for long-term economic growth and facilitating engagement in GVCs for SMEs. We encourage the implementation of APEC principles for codes of ethics in target sectors as well as the launch of multi-stakeholder ethical collaborations to strengthen the business environment for SMEs.
2015 APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Statement
Boracay, Philippines, 23-24 May 2015
Strengthening Business Ethics for SMEs
We reaffirm the importance of ethical business practices to long-term economic growth and facilitating engagement in GVCs for SMEs. We encourage the continued implementation of APEC principles for codes of ethics in sectors of importance to SMEs.
2014 APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Statement
Qingdao, China, 17-18 May 2014
We will continue to undertake actions to address the barriers that Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) face in trading in the region to further enhance their contributions to economic growth and job creation in our economies. We reaffirm the importance of building up an enabling environment to accelerate startups and boost development of SMEs, through addressing trade, investment and regulatory barriers for SMEs and offering improved and efficient services to them. We support efforts to reduce operating costs of SMEs, especially costs related to internationalization, and to enhance SMEs’ global competitiveness, business ethics and their participation in Global Value Chains. We encourage officials to take concrete actions to foster creativity and productivity among SMEs, and to encourage the use of Business Continuity Plans by SMEs to boost their disaster resilience. We reaffirm the importance of ethical business practices to long-term economic growth and the facilitation of cross-border trade, particularly for SMEs. We encourage officials to explore the possibility of a wider range of adoption of codes of ethics in accordance with APEC principles.
2013 APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Statement
Surabaya, Indonesia, 20-21 April 2013
Achieving Sustainable Growth with Equity
We note the efforts made by APEC this year in the area of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs, including youth and women entrepreneurs). SMEs, including entrepreneurs and women, are crucial driving force for employment and development of the economy. To ensure that, SMEs, many of which are women-owned can participate in and benefit from international trade, we reaffirm the importance of addressing trade investment and regulatory barriers for SMEs, and support efforts to enhance SMEs’ global competitiveness, business ethics, and their participation in Global Value Chains. We instruct officials to continue dedicating efforts and work in these areas.
2012 APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Statement
Kazan, Russia, 4-5 June 2012
We endorse the importance of initiatives in anti-corruption activities within APEC economies to strengthen trade and investment in the APEC region, particularly by promoting public-private partnerships in this sphere. Corruption poses a significant market access barrier and high cost for companies, especially SMEs, limiting growth and financial integrity. We reaffirm our commitments to fight corruption and illicit trade, and to ensure transparency through boosting cooperation among APEC economies and other international stakeholders. We welcome continued APEC capacity building efforts to implement voluntary codes of business ethics and facilitate industry regulators and anti-corruption enforcement authorities to advance ethical collaborations in line with the APEC principles.