Aside from education and infrastructure, the government considers the development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as another key component that will sustain the long-term economic growth of the Philippines.

We recognize how important SMEs are that is why we came up with programs like, Shared Services Facilities (SSF),SME Roving Academy, (DBFTA), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Gregory L. Domingo said during the recent National Export Congress. Domingo added that SMEs will be at the center of the agenda during the countrys chairmanship of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference next year.

We feel that SME agenda is very important. We are pushing to simplify the trade rules to make SME benefit in global trade. That means simplifying application forms and custom procedures, Domingo said.

Domingo added that since 2011, DTI has been pushing this agenda in meetings of APEC, World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The Philippines hosting of APEC in 2015 is a momentous occasion for all of us here in the country as it will open up windows of opportunity. It has avenues for us to showcase what the Philippines has in store for the world, DTI Undersecretary Ponciano C. Manalo added.

Manalo noted that some meetings and activities lined up for APEC, will be attended by ministers and businessmen from 21 APEC economies while