The 22nd APEC Automotive Dialogue (AD) will push for the empowering of SMEs to penetrate the supply chain networks of automotive brand principals around the region. The AD will encourage member economies to support implementation of the Global Value Chain (GVC)-SME for the Automotive Sector (GSAS) Project proposed by the Philippines and Malaysia. This project aims to facilitate SME integration into GVCs in the automotive industry and build their capacity for sustainable and inclusive business growth. SMEs account for 97% of total APEC firms.

Automotive manufacturing has become more sophisticated and fragmented regionally to economize on scales. The developing economies have gradually shifted to the clustering pattern of automotive production and consumption following the developed countries’ track. It is high time that SMEs in Asia be provided with an enabling environment where there is an opportunity to engage in international trade.

The GSAS Project seeks to illustrate GVC mapping in the region, promote best practices in GVC integration, and identify non-tariff barriers to trade and investment. It will facilitate SMEs to develop practical solutions to address economic barriers.

The GSAS Project is under Korea’s umbrella project of Capacity-building for SMEs’ Integration into Global Value Chains in Major Industries proposed during the last 2014 Committee on Trade and Industry (CTI) meeting. The project led by Korea specifically aims to facilitate SME integration into GVCs in major industries and build their capacity for sustainable and inclusive business growth. To achieve these objectives, the project will undertake a sector-level analysis of GVCs in five key industries of the region which include IT, electronics, automotives and textiles.

Proponents of the GSAS Project are expected to (1)develop a progress report on planned actions, focusing on how to help SMEs to promote their integration into GVCs from the trade and investment perspectives, (2)organize an SME Automotive GVC Dialogue and Workshop, and (3)obtain support and funding for the supporting projects.

The 22nd APEC Automotive Dialogue (AD) was held at the Dusit Thani Hotel, Ayala Center, Makati City, Philippines from 22 to 24 April 2015. This year’s Automotive Dialogue adopted the theme “Integrating SMEs into the Automotive Global Value Chains”. The forum aims to encourage economies to move toward more integrated regional and global approaches to automotive policies. (END)