Project Title

Riding the Wave of the E-Commerce Trend: Emerging and Expanding Business Option for MSMEs 

Project Year

2017   

Project Number

SME 02 2017 

Project Session

Session 1   

Project Type

Standard 

Project Status

Project in Implementation   
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Project No.

SME 02 2017 

Project Title

Riding the Wave of the E-Commerce Trend: Emerging and Expanding Business Option for MSMEs 

Project Status

Project in Implementation 

Publication (if any)

 

Fund Account

General Project Account 

Sub-fund

None 

Project Year

2017 

Project Session

Session 1 

APEC Funding

91,106 

Co-funding Amount

3,943 

Total Project Value

95,049 

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)

Thailand 

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Australia; Hong Kong, China; Japan; Korea; Malaysia; Peru; Philippines; Russia; Singapore; Chinese Taipei; United States 

Expected Start Date

01/07/2017 

Expected Completion Date

31/01/2018 

Project Proponent Name 1

Nipawis Ritthironk (Nancy) 

Job Title 1

SMEs Policy Analyst 6 

Organization 1

The Office of SMEs Promotion of Thailand 

Postal Address 1

21 TST Tower, FL. G. 17, 18, 23 Vibhavadi Rangsit Road, Jompon Subdistrict, Jatujak District, Bangkok 10900, Thailand 

Telephone 1

66-2 2983233 

Fax 1

Not Applicable 

Email 1

nipawis@sme.go.th 

Project Proponent Name 2

Not Applicable 

Job Title 2

Not Applicable 

Organization 2

Not Applicable 

Postal Address 2

Not Applicable 

Telephone 2

Not Applicable 

Fax 2

Not Applicable 

Email 2

Not Applicable 

Declaration

Nipawis Ritthironk (Nancy) 

Project Summary

Advances in e-commerce accessibility have greatly reduced barriers inhibiting MSMEs from building online customer bases, whilst providing more inclusive MSME opportunities. To empower MSMEs to take advantage of online resources, the project will present latest e-commerce trends, demonstrating how MSMEs can benefit from third-party selling platforms, tailored distribution services, e-finance and payment mechanisms, and evolving online consumer habits to foster business expansion opportunities. A two-day event will enable MSME owners, entrepreneurs, and policymakers to learn from and network with speakers including successful e-commerce entrepreneurs, logistics and e-commerce payment experts, third-party platform providers, and government representatives, through interactive presentations and moderated panel discussions. This project will support the business environment, market access, and internationalization priority areas by identifying what MSMEs need to better access the digital economy and increase participation in global markets, and developing recommendations and best practices for use by APEC member economies in developing policies to support MSMEs.

Relevance

E-commerce growth continues to outpace traditional business, and with MSMEs making up more than 90% of enterprises in APEC, encouraging more MSMEs to build their customers base online is a priority. The opportunities are greater than ever for MSMEs to grow their business prospects by migrating to online operations: utilizing the mass, global audience and low entrance barriers offered by third party e-commerce platforms and social media; benefiting from developments in distribution, particularly last-mile delivery; and more trusted payment mechanisms. Procter and Gamble report that 72% of internet users on social media, and 71% accessing from a mobile device, therefore practices of online selling through familiar platforms (e.g. Facebook) or built on concepts people inherently understand (e.g. sharing economy principle) have challenged traditional perceptions of e-commerce models, whilst “trust” concerns are being addressed through improved online experiences. Furthermore e-commerce based business redefine where a business needs to operate, and buyer-seller engagement, offering a more inclusive operating environment for MSME owners, particularly benefiting for youth and women-led business growth. 

MSMEs make up the majority of enterprises in APEC economies, and with relatively lower production and service costs, represent potential for economic growth for developing economies, and value for business and consumers in developed economies. Yet MSMEs, particularly in developing economies and in more traditional enterprises have entered into e-commerce operations, missing opportunities to connect into GVCs. MSMEs are putting themselves at a competitive disadvantage as new tech-savvy businesses enter and disrupt the market. Understanding what constitutes a strong e-commerce business model is crucial for success: knowing options for accessing digital finance and suitable online payment systems, and how delivery times can seal or lose an online purchase are crucial for enterprises to compete and grow in the current dynamic business environment. The design of the workshop and the focus of topics centered on MSMEs, presenting on dimensions of e-commerce that MSMEs tend to see as barriers: ICT literate; distribution; finance payment mechanisms; connecting and marketing online. The workshop will work through these subjects with capacity building guidance to enable MSMEs to begin or grow their business through e-commerce. Additionally participating policy makers APEC developing economies will learn what actions can be taken by government to directly support capacity building for MSMEs in e-commerce at the enterprise level, whilst improving the enabling environment at a structural level to stimulate increased e-commerce based trade. 

The project is directly related to APEC 2017 Rank 1 funding criteria, namely: strengthening innovation capacity and competitiveness of MSMEs; information technology and digital economy; e-commerce and internet economy. Additionally it is directly related to Rank 2 funding criteria, namely: innovative growth.

Objectives

1) Learning about cutting edge e-commerce trends, key success factors, and networking opportunities with leading private sector platform experts (e.g. Facebook, Alibaba);

2) Build understanding among participants of key dimensions of logistics, payment systems, e-commerce platforms, and e-marketing strategies, highlighting potential and challenges; and

3)  Produce recommendations on key government policies to and public-private partnerships to strengthen and enhance the e-commerce operating environment for MSMEs.

Alignment

The workshop will support the SMEWG Digital Economy Action Plan:  Connecting MSMEs to Global and Regional Markets and will respond to priorities identified from the 2016 APEC SME Ministerial Statement, increasing participation of MSMEs in e-commerce, confronting MSME’s readiness, capability, and resilience by working through the most significant factors that prevent MSMEs from moving into online business operations. Workshop topics will demonstrate to MSMEs how advances in e-commerce platforms are helping to address traditional technology gaps that presented barriers to MSMEs. In recognition of the priorities identified in the Boracay Action Agenda to Globalize MSMEs, the proposed project will assist SMEs to integrate into Global Value Chains (GVCs), and stimulate increased opportunity for SMEs with new business-to-business (B2B), by demonstrating how online marketplaces are increasingly joining across economies regionally and globally, designing to connect business and consumers globally, with opportunities with both business-to-business partnerships to foster improved supply-chain linkages, and business operations, and grow their consumers reach and base. The workshop will provide a specific sub-theme focusing women-led MSME e-commerce opportunities. Discussion from government and private sector actions will offer learning on incubator, accelerator and training options for MSMEs. The project will complement efforts of the Iloilo initiative. MSME Marketplaces, which can connect with information in the APEC MSME Marketplace: business networking and matching. Opportunities and support of incubators, accelerators, and what public-private partnerships such as Thailand government with Alibaba can do to contribute to this space.

TILF/ASF Justification

Not Applicable.

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Outputs:  

Events: 

A two-day workshop in Bangkok will bring together MSME policymakers, business leaders, academics, and MSMEs to learn about latest e-commerce advances and benefit from interaction through discussions with experts, case studies and site visits.

In addition to the workshop, other project outputs will include a preliminary survey that gathers baseline data on access to capital for each economy, and a list of recommendations that can assist developing member economies to encourage productive e-commerce policy actions. 

The workshop will use presentations, case studies, moderated panel discussions, interactive sessions, and site visits to provide an engaging experience for participants through the following: 

Tentative Meeting Agenda (subject to change): 

Day 1: The Current Environment for E-Commerce: trends in operations and policy actions

9:00-9:15

Welcome Speech

Dr. Wimonkan Kosumas, Office of Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion, Thailand

9:15-9:45

Keynote Address: The significance of e-commerce for the MSME sector in APEC

Dr. Pichet, Durongkaveroj, Minister for Digital Economy & Society, Thailand

9:45-11.00

Panel Discussion:  Current and upcoming trends in e-commerce practices

Dr. Kasititorn Pooparadai, Senior Division Director, Policy Research Division, National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA);
Chong Siong, Economy Manager,
EZ Buy;
Somwang Luangpaiboonsri, Economy Lead
, PayPal Thailand
Dr. Chamnan Ngammaneeudom, Lecturer, Graduate School of Commerce, Burapha University, Assistant Project Director, ASEAN SME Service Center

11:00-11:15

Coffee Break

11:15-12:30

Thematic topic session: Broaden your horizons: e-commerce is more than selling products and services online
Presentation:
- How logistics and distribution can change how you manage your e-commerce operations
- Flexible and secure digital banking and e-commerce payment solutions
Q&A: session with experts

Ms. Phensiri Sathianvongnusar, Thailand Chief Operations Officer, Acommerce;
Mr. Somwang Luangpaiboonsri, Economy Lead,
PayPal Thailand
Andrew Ure, Head of Trade and Economic Affairs, APAC Policy, Strategy and Operations

12.30 -14.00

Lunch

14:00-15:30

Panel Discussion: E-marketing – building your profile and customer base with latest e-commerce tools

Ms. Phensiri Sathianvongnusar, Thailand Chief Operations Officer, Acommerce; 
Mr. Prashant Aggarwal, Senior Director, Commercial Products South East Asia, Visa International;
Mr. Chong Siong, Economy Manager,
EZ Buy
Mr. Moo Natavudh, President Director Founder of Ookbee

15:30-15:45

Coffee Break

15.45-17:00

Moderated Discussion: Government policies and private sector: enhancing MSME e-commerce accessibility

Dr. Kasititorn Pooparadai, Senior Division Director, Policy Research Division, National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA);
Dr. Chamnan Ngammaneeudom, Lecturer, Graduate School of Commerce, Burapha University, Assistant Project Director,
ASEAN SME Service Center
Andrew Ure, Head of Trade and Economic Affairs, APAC Policy, Strategy and Operations

Mr. Moo Natavudh, President Director Founder, Ookbee

Day 2: E-commerce in practice - real life experiences from MSMEs

9:00-9:45

Presentation: e-commerce: redefining MSME cross-border trade

Ms. Nadia Augustine Tan, Head of South East Asia, SMB, Facebook

9:45-10:30

Case Study: MSMEs and e-commerce – successful planning and avoiding pitfalls

Mr. Amarit Charoenphan, Co-Founder Hubba Co-Working Space

10:30-10:45

Coffee Break

11:45-11:15

Success Story
Leading women entrepreneurs of Asia: The stories behind Shoppr and Rags2Riches

Ms. Sylvia Yin, Shoppr
Ms. Reese Fernandez-Ruiz, Rags2Riches

11:15-12:00

Open Discussion: Critical success factors for MSMEs moving into the e-commerce space

Mr. Amarit Charoenphan, Co-Founder Hubba Co-Working Space;
Mr. Surawat Akraworamas, Chairman, Thai Woman SMEs Association;
Ms. Sylvia Yin, Shoppr;
Ms. Reese Fernandez-Ruiz, Rags2Riches

12:00-12.30

Workshop closing:
Closing Remarks and Next Steps

Dr. Wimonkan Kosumas, Office of Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion, Thailand

12.30-13.30

Lunch

13:30-14:00

Travel to location of site visits

14:00-16.30

Site 1: Visit and discussion at Hubba Co-Working Space
Site 2: Visit and discussion with Ookbee

Hubba Co-Working Space
Ookbee

16:30-17.00

Return to the hotel


Outcomes: 
After the workshop, participating MSMEs will have an increased understanding of how they can grow their business connections both domestically and overseas through e-commerce, have increased confidence in taking their business operations online, and have built linkages to help them to enter the e-commerce sector. The workshop will advance understanding of governments, particularly from developing economies of the benefits of e-commerce promoting policies, and what actions they can take relevant to their particular context. 

A report containing the key policy recommendations for APEC MSME agencies will be issued to members of the SMEWG following the conclusion of the conference. With Thailand’s Office of Small and Medium Enterprise Promotion as the lead agency within the SMEWG, these policy recommendations will then be used as a framework for member economies to steer future policy decisions in order to promote the growth of e-commerce in APEC. Following the workshop, with OSMEP as the lead, the report will provide guidance for the SMEWG to act as the catalyst for achieving the recommended policy changes through the forum of APEC and tying in spectrum of policymakers within member economies.

Beneficiaries: The seminar will bring an estimated 70 participants from APEC member economies including MSME policymakers, business leaders, academics, and MSMEs. To ensure broad participation of MSMEs from across the region, a minimum of one MSME will be invited from each economy to participate in the workshop. Selection criteria for invited MSMEs to participate will include membership in an MSME network within their host economy, and a willingness to share among their host economy MSME network what was discussed during the workshop regarding using e-commerce for business expansion, by disseminating findings and outcomes from the workshop with MSMEs from its own economy at the next meeting among the MSME network taking place, following the workshop.

Direct beneficiaries of the seminar will be:

-  Government officials who have a direct role in economic policy making and involved in policy implementation and actions to improve the business operating environment

-  MSMEs who demonstrate an interest in growth through increased engagement in GVCs, but have not yet substantially moved their employment operations through e-commerce. A minimum of 50% of MSME participants will be women

-  Representatives from the ASEAN Women’s Entrepreneurs Network and the Thai Woman SMEs Association

-  Representatives from academia, particularly research institutions, universities, etc.

-  Leading MSME entrepreneurs from the region (women-run businesses will be selected), and start up hubs

-  Leading business leaders from e-commerce sectors such as Facebook, Paypal, ACommerce.

Dissemination

A report containing the list of key recommendations will be produced following the workshop. The report will be distributed electronically at the next meeting of the SMEWG as well as made available to concerned government agencies. The results will also be made available online through the website of the APEC SMEWG. 

Target audience: SME policy makers, including Ministries of Finance, Ministries of Industry, Ministries of Commerce, SME Promotion Agencies, Boards of Trade and Investment, MSMEs in developed and developing APEC economies intending to expand and enhance e-commerce operations. 

To ensure that the project is able to achieve broad dissemination of the lessons learned from the workshop among MSMEs across the APEC economies, the project will make workshop papers, presentations, discussions and the workshop report will be shared as both documents, and uploaded through YouTube and other social media channels relevant to each specific economy. These will be circulated among the Ministries of Commerce, SME Promotion Agencies and MSME networks of each APEC economy. Additionally, MSMEs participating in the workshop will be required to share among the MSME network of their host economy the findings and outcomes from the workshop, and information on where documents and information about the workshop can be accessed. 

APEC Guidelines (IP, Publications, Logo and Sponsorship where applicable) will be followed for all documents and publications produced for dissemination during and following the workshop.

There is no intention to sell outputs arising from this project.

Gender

Women entrepreneurs constitute a large proportion of MSMEs in APEC economies. These businesses face the same challenges in terms of access to finance faced by other SMEs, challenges often exacerbated in more traditional societies by their gender. The strengths of e-commerce have the potential to address many of the barriers that women face in running their enterprises. The project will accordingly ensure that women are well engaged in the project. This will be done through both careful selection of workshop participants, both owners of MSMEs and other participants to ensure that the workshop creates an atmosphere of gender balance. 

During the design of the workshop, the ASEAN Women’s Entrepreneurs Network and the Thai Woman SMEs Association will be consulted for guidance on what steps should be considered in the workshop preparations to support an environment that will encourage participation from both men and women in the workshop. 

For the workshop, leading female entrepreneurs and female speakers have been identified for a number of the presentation and panel discussion sessions to serve as inspiration for female-managed MSMEs, whilst the workshop topics focused on demonstrating where pre-existing barriers to moving into e-commerce will identify where these have previously inhibited women to moving into this business space.

Work Plan

Risks

1)  Low interest among business leading in participation and among policy makers in implementing recommendations

a) Potential risk management strategies:

i)  consultation with business leaders with a specific interest in emerging APEC economies and e-commerce potential

ii)  conducting pre-workshop consultations with high-level government stakeholders to ensure buy-in 

2) Risks that action is not taken on recommendations

a) Potential risk management strategies:

i) Identification of key proponents for the project in each APEC member economy through high-level networking and buy-in prior to the event

ii)  Engagement of high-level speakers with strong ties to both the policy level and the private sector to drive buy-in at the event and afterwards.

iii)   Participation and engagement of relevant government agencies, MSME leaders that have valuable experience in e-commerce, academic institutions, research centres, to set up a high-level task forces to drive the implementation of recommendations on encouraging growth in e-commerce

3) Risks that despite policy recommendations being carried out, SMEs are unable to capitalize on the changes

a) Potential risk management strategies:

i) Building on the workshop, further capacity-building programs targeted directly at MSMEs in order to build their confidence to take their business into the e-commerce space, and linking to opportunities for assistance once they launch e-commerce operations

Monitoring and Evaluation

Outputs

Indicators

Data Collection Method

Time of Collection

Means of Verification

Agenda produced

# of participating developing economies contacted about agenda (baseline: 0; target 10)

PO record-keeping

August 2017

Secretariat records

Pre-workshop survey

# of participating economies responding to pre-workshop survey

PO record-keeping

August 2017

Secretariat records

MSME E-commerce Workshop held in Bangkok

# of member economies participating (baseline: 0; target 21)

Attendance at Workshop

November 2017

Secretariat records

# of MSMEs in attendance (baseline: 0; target 20)

Attendance at Workshop

November 2017

Secretariat records

# of participants in attendance (baseline: 0; target: 70)

Attendance at Workshop

November 2017

Secretariat records

% of participants female (target 50%)

Attendance at Workshop

November 2017

Secretariat records

# participants engaged in dialogue on advancing access and uptake of e-commerce among MSMEs (baseline: 0; target: 35)

Workshop report

January  2018

Secretariat records

Number of policy recommendations made to enhance e-commerce operations for MSMEs (target: 5)

Workshop report

January  2018

Secretariat records

Number of e-commerce strategies presented to support growth in women led MSMEs (target: 5)

Workshop report

January  2018

Secretariat records

Follow-up survey and results

# of surveys returned from participating member economies (baseline: 0; target 20)

PO record-keeping

March 2014

Secretariat records

Linkages

Designed as a continuation of themes and recommendations from “Enhancing MSMEs Access to the Digital Economy” in 2016, and responding to the SMEWG “Digital Action Plan: Connecting MSMEs to Global and Regional Markets” and the “Boracay Action Agenda to Globalize MSMEs”, with the intention of providing MSMEs that have not yet joined the e-commerce world with accessible knowledge about current trends and how to become e-commerce ready. Project will collaborate with U.S.-ASEAN Business Council, APEC Business Advisory Council, APEC-Committee on Trade and Investment , Policy Partnership on Women and the Economy and ASEAN Women’s Entrepreneurs Network. 

The project complements the focus of projects proposed by the United States and Peru for the SMEWG on digital economy. The project will provide workshop participants with a deeper analysis and discussion on particular operational dimensions of digital economy, looking into key aspects of MSME e-commerce, including building e-commerce business through third party platforms, and the latest developments in logistics and payments systems and mechanisms, bringing experts from the private sector and real examples relevant to the MSME sector. This focus is well aligned with the Peru project which has a broader focus on making the case for MSMEs to move into the e-commerce business space. Where the Peru project will improve the understanding among MSMEs of the ‘why’ e-commerce is an effective strategy for MSMEs to access regional and global markets, this project will discuss the ‘how’ of making this happen. The project will also benefit from the increased understanding of MSMEs that will be generated from the United States project, by enabling MSMEs to apply the tools for e-commerce planning – flow of information, and digital literacy – to the operations that are presented and discussed in the project hosted by Thailand. Each project will have the result of collectively supporting the SMEWG priority to increase MSME participation in global markets through e-commerce.

Sustainability

Several steps will be taken to ensure sustainability for the project. With Thailand’s Office of Small and Medium Enterprise as the lead agency,

·  The recommendations agreed upon at the workshop will be proposed to the various concerned fora – the SMEWG, ABAC, and CTI – in order to ensure maximum profile and catalyze policy change. The project will consult with ABAC to design concrete follow-up events

·  Member economies will be encouraged to appoint one key agency each to be project champion for the implementation of the recommendations in each economy

·  Workshop results will be publicized and disseminated electronically (namely the APEC SMEWG site and SME promotion agency sites) in order to build support from the private sector, SME associations, industry associations, business incubators, and media

·  The follow-up survey issued to participants following the event will gauge the effectiveness and plausibility of the recommendations drafted during the workshop, including how the recommendations have or will be used to address policy bottlenecks

·  With e-commerce featuring as one of the key priorities for APEC to promote economic growth through a stronger MSME sector, and the importance of e-commerce in the SMEWG Strategic Plan 2017 – 2020, along with associated MSEWG initiatives, the workshop is expected to stimulate further areas for e-commerce focus through future APEC focused workshops and projects, building upon the outcomes of the workshop.

Project Overseers

The PO will be Ms. Nipawis Ritthironk, SMEs Policy Analyst, Multilateral Cooperation Division, International Cooperation Department, Office of SMEs Promotion (OSMEP), Thailand. 

She has been in significantly involved in Multilateral Cooperation, including leading as Thailand’s OSMEP representative in the APEC SME Working Group. Ms. Ritthironk has successfully managed and carried out several research projects with international research teams, and is currently working to support Thailand’s role in APEC SMEWG.

Cost Efficiency

Not Applicable.

Drawdown Timetable

Not Applicable.

Direct Labour

OSMEP will carry out a tender process to select a suitable contractor in line with APEC policy guidelines.

Waivers

Not Applicable.

Are there any supporting document attached?

No 
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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

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