Project Title

Digital Economy Workshop/Dialogue 

Project Year

2017   

Project Number

SME 07 2017A 

Project Session

Session 1   

Project Type

Standard 

Project Status

Project in Implementation   
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Project No.

SME 07 2017A 

Project Title

Digital Economy Workshop/Dialogue 

Project Status

Project in Implementation 

Publication (if any)

 

Fund Account

APEC Support Fund 

Sub-fund

ASF: Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) 

Project Year

2017 

Project Session

Session 1 

APEC Funding

50,740 

Co-funding Amount

62,760 

Total Project Value

113,500 

Sponsoring Forum

Small and Medium Enterprises Working Group (SMEWG) 

Topics

Small and Medium Enterprises 

Committee

SOM Steering Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation (SCE) 

Other Fora Involved

 

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

 

Proposing Economy(ies)

United States 

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Australia; Canada; Peru; Chinese Taipei; Thailand 

Expected Start Date

01/05/2017 

Expected Completion Date

31/12/2017 

Project Proponent Name 1

Jillian DeLuna 

Job Title 1

Trade and Economic Policy Officer 

Organization 1

US Department of State 

Postal Address 1

2201 C St NW, Washington, DC 20520, USA 

Telephone 1

1-202 6474806 

Fax 1

Not Applicable 

Email 1

DeLunaJ@state.gov 

Project Proponent Name 2

Ann Katsiak 

Job Title 2

Chief of Party 

Organization 2

US-ATAARI 

Postal Address 2

1777 N kent Street, Arlington, VA, USA 

Telephone 2

1-703 5167743 

Fax 2

Not Applicable 

Email 2

AKatsiak@nathaninc.com 

Declaration

Jillian DeLuna and Ann Katsiak 

Project Summary

The digital economy enables MSMEs to enter new markets and foster more inclusive and sustainable economic growth as the proliferation of business transactions that depend on the internet and information and communication technology (ICTs) further establishes the importance of the digital economy as the driver of innovation, competitiveness, and growth for the developing world in the Asia-Pacific. This project seeks to increase the knowledge of APEC economies in (i) facilitating and utilizing the flow of information and (ii) fostering digital literacy to enable MSME access to the digital economy. 

This workshop will primarily focus on increasing the APEC SMEWG’s   understanding on these two issues. Given that few officials from the economies in the SMEWG are leads in their respective economies on policy aspects of digital economy, the workshop will enhance understanding of the impact of relevant policies on MSMEs. By sharing expertise and lessons learned, participants will be able to create focused initiatives within their economy and be prepared to weigh future policy considerations.

Relevance

MSMEs comprise over 97% of all enterprises and over half of the workforce in APEC economies. Yet, they only account for 35% of regional exports. The digital economy offers enormous opportunities to integrate MSME companies into global supply and value chains. By providing a cost-effective approach to establishing a global presence, the digital economy enables MSMEs to enter new markets and foster more inclusive and sustainable economic growth. Access to the digital economy remains challenging for businesses in many APEC economies. MSMEs face these challenges disproportionally in comparison to larger businesses. This project aims to target policies affecting MSMEs, particularly those from developing APEC economies, as the primary beneficiaries of integration with the digital economy. 

This project directly links to several APEC 2017 Rank 1 funding criteria, including: Strengthening innovation capacities and competitiveness of MSMEs and MSMEs insertion in GVCs; human development, including science and technology and capacity building; Next Generation Trade and Investment Issues, Information technology and digital economy; and Internet Economy. It also directly supports Rank 2 funding criteria, most notably in Innovative Growth.

Objectives

The objective of this project is to increase knowledge in two specific areas that were identified for enabling MSME access to the digital economy at the Digital Economy workshop in April 2016: facilitating and utilization of the flow of information and fostering digital literacy to ensure social and economic value of the digital economy to consumers and businesses around the region.

Alignment

The digital economy was an important theme in the most recent APEC Leaders Statement in Lima in November 2016. The Leaders Statement notes that “We will collaborate to unleash the potential of the digital economy and strongly support an accessible, open, interoperable, reliable and secure ICT environment as an essential foundation for economic growth and prosperity.” In addition, “strengthening MSMEs’ competitiveness and innovation in the digital age” is a priority identified by Viet Nam for its host year. Furthermore, the digital economy has long been a priority of a number of APEC fora, including CTI, the Electronic Commerce Steering Group (ECSG), the Small and Medium Enterprises Working Group (SMEWG), the Ad Hoc Steering Group on the Internet Economy (AHSGIE), and the Telecommunications and Infrastructure Working Group (TELWG). 

The digital economy remains a central priority to CTI. In 2016, two trade policy dialogues were held in Lima, which enriched APEC’s understanding of the issues of digital trade. In order to further advance the work, CTI agreed to the Next Steps for Advancing Work on Digital Trade in 2017.  The Electronic Commerce Steering Group (ECSG) is working to optimize cross-border data flows and privacy protection as building blocks for the growth of digital trade through its Cross-Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) System and Privacy Recognition for Processors (PRP) System. By expanding the number of APEC economies and businesses participating in these systems, particularly among MSMEs, APEC ensures online consumer protection and trust, reaping the benefits of digital trade facilitation. In addition, Viet Nam has identified one of its Host Year priorities as “Strengthening MSMEs’ Competitiveness and Innovation the Digital Age”. 

In September 2015, the APEC SMEWG Digital Economy Action Plan (DEAP) and Work Agenda for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) was welcomed by SME Ministers and endorsed by Leaders in November 2015 as part of the Boracay Action Agenda to Globalize MSMEs.  The SME Working Group Strategic Plan of 2017-2020 identifies “Entrepreneurship, innovation and the internet and digital economy” as one of its four priorities. Within this priority area, one objective is clearly stated as “Help SMEs to build capabilities to take advantage of and compete effectively in the internet and digital economy.”  The project will aim to increase the APEC SMEWG’s understanding of how information flows and digital literacy contribute to the growth of MSMEs and foster inclusive and sustainable growth.

TILF/ASF Justification

The digital economy is of growing economic importance that is relevant to all APEC economies, making knowledge sharing with developing economies especially important. The digital economy has established its importance in the global economy as a driver of innovation and competitiveness, and presents a unique opportunity for the growth of the developing world, especially for MSMEs. This project seeks to increase the knowledge of APEC economies on the flow of information and fostering digital literacy in order to help economies enable access to the digital economy. This project is strongly aligned with the strategic directions of the ASF sub-fund on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, which aims to directly involve developing APEC MSMEs in activities to support the building of inclusive economies through MSME-led poverty reduction.

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Outputs: This project will take place in the form of a one-day workshop. Speakers and participants from APEC economies will be invited to share their expertise and lessons learned in facilitating the flow of information as well as fostering digital literacy to enable MSME access to the digital economy. 

Outcomes: The one-day workshop will build on SMEs’ ability to be competitive in the regional and international markets, specifically increasing the knowledge of APEC economies in (i) facilitating and utilizing the flow of information and (ii) fostering digital literacy to enable MSME access to the digital economy. As a result, participants will be able to apply this knowledge within their economies to better develop programs that address these policy and skills gaps and be prepared to weigh future policy considerations. 

Beneficiaries: Approximately 80 APEC member economy participants will be the direct beneficiaries of this workshop. Participants will be comprised of high level technical subject matter experts and private and public sector representatives from APEC economies, including developed economies, developing economies, and the host economy, with the majority of participants being self-funded. Participants from relevant economy ministries including ministries of trade, SME-related ministries and departments, and those focused on ICT and digital trade issues will be the target audience. Organizations including the OECD and the World Bank can also nominate participants. By sharing expertise and lessons learned, participants will be prepared to weigh future policy considerations in the digital environment.  Additionally, the discussions with private and public sector will provide an opportunity to explore how existing policies on digital economy could be improved to address difficulties faced by MSMEs.

Dissemination

All APEC members will be invited to this workshop and provided access to all materials. Workshop materials will be posted online on the APEC website and available to all participants, including non-governmental organizations and private sector companies. In addition, a summary report will be developed to ensure that key lessons from the workshop are documented. The report will be distributed to all workshop attendees via the APEC website to share with their economies.

Gender

The digital economy can provide women with a means of earning a living, especially in the developing world where cultural bias, mobility restrictions and time limitations can prevent women from working in the physical economy. One key challenge is educating women about the digital world, and this lack of skills training is a common barrier to entry for women. This project will be addressing digital literacy to enable MSMEs access to the digital economy. From the onset of project planning, the project overseers will work deliberately to include women as speakers and participants. Women who are involved in MSMEs will be consulted and encouraged to actively participate, and the agenda of the event will integrate gender issues in discussing best practices and lessons learned. 

The workshop will encourage active participation of women from APEC economies to engage in the dialogue as both speakers and participants. This is important since women-owned MSMEs face heavy barriers including the lack of access to information technology innovation and markets, among others. The organizers will make a concerted effort to include women who range from experts in digital economy to MSME business owners. The latter will be especially crucial to ensure that women’s experiences and challenges are represented in the workshop.

Work Plan

Work plan:
Q1 2017: PO will begin to develop the meeting’s agenda, based on the feedback from the 2016 workshops and the key white papers.

Q2 2017: PO will also identify speakers and confirm the workshop venue. PO will work to issue invitation in order to identify participants.

Q3 2017: Finalize the agenda. Workshop held, Brief summary report developed.

Q4 2017: Identification of follow up work and any lessons learned to take forward to 2018.

Risks

Risk

Mitigation Strategy

Poor participation in workshops

Active engagement with workshop hosts and with technical experts in each of the APEC economies for speakers and participants in the workshops. The Project Overseers will contact Heads of Delegation from CTI and SMEWG to enlist their support in getting speakers. Special effort will be made to invite women as speakers and as participants, and to assure speakers address the interests of developing and small economies as well as developed and larger ones.

Possibility for scheduling conflicts with other APEC events

The Project Overseers will engage with the leadership of relevant APEC fora when examining potential dates for the event in order to reduce the chance for scheduling conflicts.

Poor quality of presentations so participants are not fully engaged

Project Overseers will require speakers to provide a copy of their presentations in advance and will recommend changes as needed to fully engage audience.

Monitoring and Evaluation

Following the 2016 workshop, a best practice outcome summary was developed, which was helpful in carrying forward key successes and lessons learned. The project will utilize the best practice outcome summary to focus on a few issue areas this year, and will seek to develop a summary report following the workshop to ensure that the key lessons are documented. 

As a part of this workshop, the organizers will conduct a series of evaluation surveys with participants. The evaluations will measure participants’ knowledge before and after the workshop in areas of key competencies and skills. The surveys will also ask if the topics were relevant to the work their economy is doing. In follow up surveys, the goal will be for at least 50% of participants to apply the information from the workshop to their economy.  Other potential indicators could be the number of survey responses and response ratio; the number of survey and workshop participants, including ratio of women to men; the percentage of participants that indicate increased learning from participating in the workshop; and feedback.

Linkages

This project promotes cross fora collaboration through the discussion of a topic that is a key priority to the CTI, the Electronic Commerce Steering Group (ECSG), the Small and Medium Enterprises Working Group (SMEWG) and the Telecommunications and Infrastructure Working Group (TELWG). Building on the work in 2016, the project will continue to engage stakeholders across and outside of the region, with experts from Google, Walmart, and more. The project will invite project overseers from the Peru-led 2017 APEC Digital Economy and E-Commerce Forum, in order to share information and promote linkages if possible. The project will avoid duplicative work by taking a deeper dive on two specific issues that were discussed and prioritized in 2016. The project will ensure that outcomes from the workshop are shared with the relevant fora and that the relevant working groups. Beyond APEC stakeholders, there is a possibility that the work of this project will feed into work being done by external stakeholders, such as the OECD and the G20.

Sustainability

The workshop will further advance the SMEWG Digital Economy Action Plan (DEAP):  Connecting MSMEs to Global and Regional Markets, welcomed by the SME Ministers in 2015, as identified in the SMEWG work plan priority area on “entrepreneurship, innovation, and the internet and digital economy.”  Specifically, the workshop will contribute to capacity building efforts to ensure SMEs are able to take advantage of opportunities to globalize their operations, which is identified as an important goal in the DEAP. 

Through broad engagement among both SME and trade officials engaged, this workshop will help identify a range of steps that could help SMEs better access the digital economy and address issues related to accessing the internet and broadband, security and privacy concerns, and basic knowledge on developing an online presence. 

The case studies, lessons learned, best practices, and international experiences with these digital economy issues shared during the workshop will enhance the dialogue among stakeholders and help build capacity among beneficiaries to carry reforms forward and align efforts in their economies. The workshop’s closing remarks will cover next steps and highlight an expectation that participants will return to their home economies prepared to advocate for best practices and policies that support facilitating and utilizing the flow of information and fostering digital literacy to enable MSME access to the digital economy. As part of monitoring and evaluation efforts, a one-year follow up survey will be given to all participants to track information on how they have used the workshop knowledge.

Project Overseers

The Project Overseers are Jillian DeLuna from the US Department of State and Ann Katsiak of the US-APEC Technical Assistance to Advance Regional Integration (US-ATAARI) project. Both are highly experienced project managers, and their respective information can be found on the cover page of this proposal.

Cost Efficiency

Not Applicable.

Drawdown Timetable

Not Applicable.

Direct Labour

Not Applicable.

Waivers

Should there be any changes to the budget and scope which involve seeking waivers from the normal APEC financial rules, the PO will seek approval from the Program Director by providing sufficient justifications and detailed explanations.

Are there any supporting document attached?

No 
Attachments
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Created at 04/07/2017 15:51  by Lucy Phua 
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Version HistoryVersion History

Project No.

Project Title

Project Status

Publication (if any)

Fund Account

Sub-fund

Project Year

Project Session

APEC Funding

Co-funding Amount

Total Project Value

Sponsoring Forum

Topics

Committee

Other Fora Involved

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

Proposing Economy(ies)

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Expected Start Date

Expected Completion Date

Project Proponent Name 1

Job Title 1

Organization 1

Postal Address 1

Telephone 1

Fax 1

Email 1

Project Proponent Name 2

Job Title 2

Organization 2

Postal Address 2

Telephone 2

Fax 2

Email 2

Declaration

Project Summary

Relevance

Objectives

Alignment

TILF/ASF Justification

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Dissemination

Gender

Work Plan

Risks

Monitoring and Evaluation

Linkages

Sustainability

Project Overseers

Cost Efficiency

Drawdown Timetable

Direct Labour

Waivers

Are there any supporting document attached?

hdFldAdmin

Project Number

Previous Fora

Secretariat Comments

Reprogramming Notes

Consolidated QAF

Endorsement By Fora

PD Sign Off

Batch

Forum Priority

Committee Ranking Category

Committee Priority

PDM Priority

Priority Within Funding Category

Monitoring Report Received

Completion Report Received

PMU Field 1

PMU Field 2

PMU Field 3

On Behalf Of

Proposal Status

Originating Sub-Forum

Approval Status
Attachments
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