Project Title

Promoting the Participation of MSMEs in the Regional Market to Bridge the Digital Divide in APEC Economies 

Project Year

2018   

Project Number

ECSG 02 2018 

Project Session

Session 2   

Project Type

Standard 

Project Status

Project in Implementation   
View Budget TableView Budget Table
|
PrintPrint

Project No.

ECSG 02 2018 

Project Title

Promoting the Participation of MSMEs in the Regional Market to Bridge the Digital Divide in APEC Economies 

Project Status

Project in Implementation 

Publication (if any)

 

Fund Account

General Project Account 

Sub-fund

None 

Project Year

2018 

Project Session

Session 2 

APEC Funding

99,550 

Co-funding Amount

7,000 

Total Project Value

106,550 

Sponsoring Forum

Electronic Commerce Steering Group (ECSG) 

Topics

Electronic Commerce 

Committee

Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI) 

Other Fora Involved

 

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

 

Proposing Economy(ies)

Viet Nam 

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Chile; Japan; United States 

Expected Start Date

01/01/2019 

Expected Completion Date

31/12/2019 

Project Proponent Name 1

Hang Bui 

Job Title 1

Head of International Cooperation Division 

Organization 1

Vietnam E-Commerce and Digital Economy Agency 

Postal Address 1

25 Ngo Quyen, Hoan Kiem, Ha Noi, Viet Nam 

Telephone 1

(84-24) 22205486 

Fax 1

Not Applicable 

Email 1

hangbt@moit.gov.vn 

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

Hang Bui 

Project Summary

The growth of e-commerce and fast digitalization promise to increase export opportunities for MSMEs by connecting producers and consumers located at great distances at a comparatively low cost, giving them a global presence previously reserved for large multinational companies. In the context that APEC boasts a diverse range of markets, with varying levels of digital/ Internet economy maturity and technology adoption, the gap between developed and developing members has historically been a challenge to market access, particularly for MSMEs. However, the digital economy is quickly bridging this divide and allowing MSMEs to access new markets through e-commerce previously unavailable to them. Therefore, the core objective of this project is to expand the internationalization opportunities for MSMEs by helping developing economies to design appropriate policies to develop the digital readiness, and hearing best practices in developed economies which have spurred the growth of their own domestic industries.

The proposal includes 2 activities:

i) a research on policies, initiatives and best practices to develop the e-commerce and trade related digital economy to encourage MSMEs to participate in the regional market; and

ii) a workshop will be held for government representatives and digital solution providers to share the best practices on how APEC economies developing their e-commerce and trade related digital economy.

The information about new and emerging issues in e-commerce will also be provided. After the workshop, the policy makers will acknowledge which policies are needed to foster the MSMEs in the digital/ Internet economy.

Relevance

Relevance – Region: The Asia-Pacific region is host to some of the fastest growing economies in the world with rapid rates of e-commerce expansion and growth in digital trade. There is however within APEC a ‘digital divide’ in the region’s infrastructure landscape, which might cause a ‘new underclass’ of the disconnected. Taking a boarder perspective of digital divide that refers to social and economic stratification due to unequal ability to access, adapt and create knowledge via use of information and communication technologies, without the advantages on infrastructure, human resources, capital investment and an enabling policy environment, the developing economies are at the danger of being left behind if the governments don’t have proper actions to promote growth and innovation.

Recognizing this, APEC Ministers continuingly called for actions on bridging the digital divide in the region. Recently, in 2014, Minister endorsed the Initiative of Cooperation to Promote Internet Economy. At the APEC Ministerial Meeting in 2015, Ministers encouraged secure cross-border flows of information, taking into account the need to bridge the digital divide. Importantly, In the Leader‘s Declaration 2017, it was committed to strengthen the ability of MSMEs to participate in global value chain through enhancing Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) digital capacities, competitiveness and resilience.
                                                                                                             In that context, MSMEs in developing economies are at risk being on the wrong side of this divide, with insufficient funds and/or access to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as the most cited reasons for falling behind. In order to solve this issue, the governments of the developing economies have to make the policies supporting the participation of MSMEs in the market. Therefore, this project aims to give the developing economies a chance to understand the innovative, regulatory, and incentive about e-commerce and trade related digital economy policies of developed economies in regards to MSMEs participation in regional economies to get the advantages of digital revolution, the differences and the gap among them. Based on the report, the developing economies could have more reliable references on how to create e-commerce and trade related digital economy policies enhancing the competitiveness of MSMEs in digital transformation.

Besides, the content and topic of the workshop will focus on two spotlights including:

1) Challenges for private sector to adopt e-commerce and trade relating to digital economy under legal context;

2)  Public – private dialogue on how to map out appropriate policies to enhance e-commerce and trade relating to digital economy with the aim to creating a business friendly environment in the region. 

Relevance – Eligibility: We consider this project fall under the following priorities of GPA: 

1) Improving Digital Connectivity, deepening Regional Economic Integration: e-commerce and trade relating to digital economy are blooming in recent years, appeared as one of key pillar for economic growth of the region. In this context, this proposal (research and workshop activity) will support for members to improve respective capacities on digital connectivity, towards regional economic integration.

2) Strengthening MSMEs’ Competitiveness and Innovation in the Digital Age: The activity of Research and workshop aims to providing opportunity for public sector and private sector to discuss and share ideas on digital issues to enhance their abilities and competitiveness in digital age. MSMEs is one of key beneficiaries of the project.

3) Promoting sustainable, innovative and inclusive growth: with the objectives to implement relating Declaration, Frameworks and Roadmap in APEc, the project is an helpful activity for APEC members to strengthening their growth.  

Relevance – Capacity Building: This project strives to support the developing economies to find solutions supporting the MSMEs and developing the digital/ Internet economy so thus, help reducing the economic disparities among APEC economies. Details are as below: 

1)   APEC’s Goals for capacity building

a) To reduce economic disparities among APEC economies: we hope to shorten the distance between APEC members (developed members and developing ones) in e-commerce and digital economy by supporting developing members to have more information and best practices from developed members through workshop and research to be published while they are working with respective digital policies. 

b)  To attain sustainable growth and equitable development in the Asia-Pacific region:  Developing economies can have reliable and updated references on the path of mapping out digital policies thanks to Research on strategies, policies and initiatives of developed members for their reference. Besides, the workshop is a good in-person discussion and sharing experience among policy makers as well as between public and private sector. All these benefits will help to reach the goal of creating leverage for regional economic growth. 

2)  APEC’s objectives for capacity building

a) To enhance the capacity of government in APEC developing economies in reaping the benefit of digital/ Internet economy. 

b) To support MSMEs to participate more into the regional market by raising their awareness about: e-commerce and trade related digital economy via the report and the workshop. 

3) APEC’s operational principles for capacity building

a) Long-term: to increase the capacity building for developing members is a long path with the efforst from all APEC members through APEC projects. With this project, we have just stepped into the first phase of this path on digitalization. After this project, APEC fora and sub-fora, esp. ECSG should continue have other activities to facilitate developing members in making respective legal and regulatory framework on e-commerce and trade relating digital economy appropriate and comprehensive. 

b) Transparency: the Research will be uploaded in APEC website for easy reference. Agenda and presentation will be incorporated into the Report which will be circulated and approved by ECSG members. 

c) Cost Effiency: all costs of this project must be strictly followed the approved budget. Any changes must be approved by Programe Director and not exceed the budget.

Objectives

1) To issue a research report on policies, initiatives and best practices to develop the e-commerce and trade related digital economy among APEC economies through desk research, and interview to provide suggestions on how to utilize benefits of the digital revolution;

2) To build support for the developing economies in APEC region to understand and in person discuss about approaches in building appropriate policies for the development of e-commerce and trade related digital economy from developed economies through the workshop;

3) To affirm the importance of  collaborations among stakeholders including among government bodies, public and private sector regarding policy making to facilitate e-commerce and trade related digital economy; and

4)  Promote existing programs for cross-border e-commerce and digital economy that benefit MSMEs such as APEC Privacy Framework, APEC Framework on Cross-border E-commerce Facilitation and Internet and Digital Economy Roadmap.

Alignment

Alignment - APEC and Forum: In the AELM Declaration of 2015, the Leaders recognized the significance of enabling the participation of “micro, small and medium enterprises, to achieving inclusive growth” and committed to “take action to facilitate such participation”. The Boracay Action Agenda to Globalize MSMEs was adopted as an effort to implement this commitment and one of action could be taken is “6.Expanding internationalization opportunities for micro and small enterprises providing goods and services through ICT and e-commerce”. This project aims to encourage the adoption of cross-border e-commerce in businesses of MSMEs. In addition, the discussion about promoting policies will help facilitating the internalization of MSMEs businesses. 

This project also contributes for the implementation of APEC Cross-border E-commerce Facilitation Framework: “Enhancing capacity building so that APEC Economies can assist MSMEs to increase their cross-border e-commerce participation in global and regional markets”. These are important deliverables of APEC 2017 targeting to promote the development of e-commerce and trade related digital economy. 

The project demonstrates concrete efforts to implement Initiative of Cooperation to Promote Internet Economy and AMM Joint Statement in 2015 and 2016. 

Last but not least, this project is a kind of action to strengthening MSMEs’ digital capacities, competitiveness and resilience which was stated in Leader’s Declaration 2017 in Danang, Viet Nam. 

This project implements the priority areas of CTI in 2018 as “advancing regional economic integration” and contribution to MSMEs’ Integration into Global Regional Markets”. MSMEs Internationalization is a key of success to enhance the regional integration and to build global MSMEs.

TILF/ASF Justification

Not Applicable.

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Outputs: 

1) Research: on policies, initiatives and best practices to develop the e-commerce and trade related digital economy: The research draws on wide ranging desk research and interview with experts and policymakers in developed economies to uncover successful policies to assist and encourage MSMEs to participate in the regional market via e-commerce and trade related digital economy. The Research is tentatively composed of some main contents including: Overview on global and regional e-commerce and digital economy, Policies and Initiatives for e-commerce and trade relating digital economy, Best practices and Case studies. The Research can be written in the length of 50 pages. 

From our quick research, Australia and New Zealand are considered as two leading members to have Policies / Strategy for Digital Economy while some other Asia economies seems to be stressful much on e-commerce and just to be in the first step of digitalization regarding policy making. Viet Nam will keep in close touch with these economies to develop the Report. The experts for the Report should come from government authorities relating to trade and commerce. 

The major research method is desk research. Short survey with 3-5 questionnaires (eg: on intention of issuing Policies on Digital Economy, focus points and time for issuance) can be sent to ECSG member focal points. The responses will be used to evaluate and identify the concerns of APEC members on this issue which will be helpful for researcher to make any recommendation in mapping out policies. 

The Research will be presented in the workshop for comments and discussion. After the workshop, researcher will revise and send it to ECSG members for approval and published in the APEC Publication website. 

2) Workshop: the policymakers from developed economies in APEC as well as experts on this field would come and share their experiences about which e-commerce and trade related digital economy policies that the developed economies applied and how these policies support the MSMEs community expanding their businesses. The workshop is expected to help the policymakers in developing APEC economies have a better view on the e-commerce and trade related digital economy policies enabling MSMEs participation. 

-   Location and date: Hanoi, Viet Nam in September 2019;

-   Duration: 2 days

-   Target participants: government authorities and businesses relating to e-commerce and digital economy, concerned education and training organizations (eg: universities, institutes), business organizations;

The workshop invitation will be sent to ECSG for nomination and kindly circulation to concerned audience for active participation. Vietnamese businesses will attend the workshop actively. The workshop may conclude some following sessions:

-  Introduce Research (activity 1);

-  Share about Strategies/ Policies supporting e-commerce and digital economy;

-  Public – private dialogue on how to map out appropriate policies on e-commerce and trade relating to digital economy

-  Digital literacy skills

-  Case study

-  Discussion

The evaluation form will been circulated to participant and submitted together with Completion Report. 

Outcomes: 

Activity 1: Help policy makers create the appropriate e-commerce and trade related digital economy policies to enable MSMEs from APEC economies to utilize the benefits of the digital revolution. 

Activity 2: Help governments of developing economies in APEC to learn from the successful applied e-commerce and trade related digital economy policies, hearing the analysis from the expert and discussing with the private sector on how to engage regional MSMEs to realize their potential in the digital age. 

In short, the proposal can be a good activity for capacity building in medium term. For long term, it is hoped that APEC members can create a favorable environment for MSMEs inclusion in the regional market via e-commerce and trade related digital economy. 

Beneficiaries:  

1) Direct Beneficiaries: Government officials and MSMEs

a)  The main beneficiary of this project is government officials who are in charge of international collaboration in e-commerce or whom responsibilities relating to digital development and MSMEs promotion division. This proposal will give them a chance to exchange ideas about mapping out appropriate and friendly legal and regulatory framework for MSMEs inclusion in the regional market via e-commerce and trade related digital economy.

b) MSMEs relating to e-commerce and digital economy 

2) Indirect Beneficiaries: Institutions and associations (universities, education institutes and business associations): to have more useful information about e-commerce and trade related digital economy policies in APEC.

Dissemination

Publication: The research report on the applied e-commerce and trade related digital economy policies regarding to supporting MSMEs in the regional market, including those from the developed economies in APEC. The report is expected to be available for download on the website of APEC and Vietnam E-commerce and Digital Economy Agency Trade (electronic form). In order to help this report reaching more audience, website of the implementing agency (www.idea.gov.vn) will be engaged to promote the information about both of the report and workshop.

The copies of all documents and presentations (including the research report) and other information will be sent to all of the ECSG members via email. 

Target audience:  the same with participants of workshop as well as audience of the research mentioned as below. 

No intention to sell outputs arising from this project. 

The Research Report will be submitted as an APEC publication.

Gender

this proposal and implementation period. In addition, to address gender concern and make sure that men and women are engaged efficiently in the workshop, the evaluation form delivered at the end of the workshop will include information on gender to aggregate for project assessment. 

However, it is well recognized that this project is relevant to high technology-ability which draws more male than female participation. Therefore, the project expect to keep the gender balance between male and female is 60-40. 

Female participation as speakers or delegates to the workshop will be encouraged based on the highest efficiency of the project, therefore, the percentage of female speakers and participants will be decided at a later stage. However, the organizers will make sure that women are most encouraged and created favorable conditions to take part in and contribute to the workshop by disseminating information and invitation to as many women as possible. Women-owned businesses will be prioritized to be invited as speaker to the Workshop. 

Besides, it is understood that digital economy has the potential to be a powerful tool for women and their businesses to prosper and can offer the potential for women to bypass some of traditional barriers to work, allowing them to work flexible and distantly. However, it should be noted that this Project much more focuses on sharing best practices and experience in mapping out policies, strategies on e-commerce and activities relating to digital economy than discussion among private sectors about how to take advantage of e-commerce and activities relating to digital economy in their business. Accordingly, speaker gender balance is expected to achieve at 60-40. 

The final approved Report and the Completion Report will be shared with the PO implementing PPWE 02 2018A on “Advancing Inclusion through Enhancing Women and Girls’ Digital Literacy and skills in the Context of Industry 4.0”.

Work Plan

Date

Task

Deliverables

Nov-Dec 2018

(Activity 1)

Contracting Process

Labor Contract

Jan 2019

(Actvity 1)

- Setup the research team

- Define research components and make work schedule

- Set up communication and cooperation mechanism

Contract with researchers

 Work schedule

A communications plan

Feb 2019

(Activity 1)

- Conduct desk research

Preliminary findings

Mar 2019

(Activity 1)

- Design and distribute questionnaires

- Make field research plan

Questionnaires

 Field research plan

Apr – May 2019

(Activity 1)

- Collect questionnaires and analyze the data

- Conduct field research

- Agenda for workshop

- Interview experts from government, academia, international organizations and private sectors to collect views and suggestions (via email and during the field trips)

Questionnaire statistics report

Field research summary

Agenda

Jun – Aug 2019

(Activity 1+2)

Activity 1

- Draft the project report

- Circulate invitation to ECSG 

Draft report

Administrative circulation

Activity 2:

- Develop draft agenda and circulate to ECSG for comment and input

- Final Agenda

- Identify speakers and vet with ECSG

- Circulate invitation and encourage ‘travel eligible economies’ to take advantage of funding to policymakers

- Organize administrative aspects and workshop logistics

Tentative Agenda

 Agenda



List of speakers

 
Administrative Circular to ECSG

Sep 2019

(Activity 1+2)

Activity 1:

- Share findings and collect suggestions at the workshop

Comment for revise

Activity 2: Conduct the workshop in Vietnam

Workshop

Oct – Nov 2019

(Activity 1+2)

Activity 1:

- Revise the Research and circulate final draft to ECSG members for approval

Final Research report

Activity 2:

Completion Report and Submission

Completion report

2020

Complete Long term Evaluation of APEC projects

Evaluation Form sent by Secretariat

Risks

Risk 1: Lack of coordination in the parties related with this project, including questionnaire responses, experts, interviewees.

Risk Management: Make work schedule detailed and set up a communication plan. PO and project executors will actively keep in touch with relevant parties. 

Risk 2: The insurance of full participants from 10 eligible economies.

Risk Management: The Agenda of the workshop will also focus on concerns of 10 eligible economies to encourage participations from eligible economies. 

Risk 3: To choose right participants to the Workshop.

Risk Management: the Organizers will consult with co-sponsoring economies to set general criteria for participants. Participants should be government officials who are directly or indirectly involved in the policy making and implementation; businesses or e-commerce experts who have good background and experiences in the field. For the host economy, the Workshop is open to business sector, including business associations; apart from officials from the government and local authorities. 

Risk 4: Economies not applying knowledge learned or adopting recommendations from the project

Risk Management: During the workshop, the project will request experts (speakers) to share their experience as much detailed as possible to reduce the ratio of non –application for lack of clear guidance.

Monitoring and Evaluation

Effective and efficient communication and cooperation mechanism will be set up to maintain regular communications between the Project Overseer and researchers, to ensure the project's key activities and deliverables are completed on schedule, including:

-  50 – 70 participants to attend the Workshop;

- 10 – 12 economies to attend the Workshop;

- Evaluation form from at least 75% workshop participants;

- Questionnaire responses from 3 – 5 developed economies;

- Desk research for Australia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Korea, Chinese Taipei, Singapore, The United States;

- In-person discussion with 2 economies including: Australia and Korea;

- Gender balance between male and female: 60-40. 

Experts from stakeholders will be invited to provide suggestions on the research. The draft report will be sent to selected experts for comments as well. Besides, the draft report will be sent to ECSG for review before finalization and publication.

Linkages

Project team will actively use the outcomes of the previous APEC and non-APEC activities to avoid any duplication. The project will seek ways of cooperation and create synergy with other ongoing APEC initiatives in similar area to maximize the proposal’s benefits. The project experts also will interact with other related projects executors to use their experience.

 The output of the whole project including research report and workshop can be useful documents for related institutes and universities as well as non-profit organizations. Given the last reports that my Agency has proposed in APEC such as Survey on the Readiness for Joining CBPRs 2016, Impacts of TPP’s E-commerce Chapter on APEC  E-commerce 2017, the organizers will have more experience on conducting Research.

Noting that advancing regional economic integration as well as globalize MSMEs have been key priorities of APEC, thus, APEC is the best source of funds for this project.

Sustainability

The research report will be a useful reference for policymakers in APEC developing economies in order to map out the roadmap to develop the domestic policy framework for the MSMEs inclusion in the regional market via e-commerce and trade related digital economy. Moreover, the research report also has positive impact on developing economies to review their readiness of engaging MSMEs in the digital revolution in general and thus, would have an appropriate action toward it. 

Following the workshop, participants are expected to have a good chance for sharing experiences on e-commerce and trade related digital economy with the aim to discuss about the solutions to overcome challenges. The output of the workshop might contribute to the implementation of the APEC Cross-border E-commerce Facilitation Framework. Moreover, the outputs of the workshop can be referenced during the adoption of new e-commerce and trade related digital economy policies for developing economies. 

The Organizer also considers proposing the phase 2 of the project based on the participants’ recommendations. The networking will be used to review the implementation of recommendations. Accordingly, it can be the most efficient way to keep tracking on how APEC members take benefits of the project into action.

Project Overseers

Ms. Bui Thi Thanh Hang serves as Head of International Affairs Division, Vietnam E-Commerce and Digital Economy Agency, Ministry of Industry and Trade. She had previously served as Vice Director of E-Commerce Development Center, and also was a member of Vietnam negotiation team in the area of e-commerce. Her work currently involves in carry out the international cooperation activities serving the e-commerce development and application in trade and industry sector; setup and carry out programs and projects on e-commerce and information technology funded by foreign countries and international organizations. 

Ms. Hang received her M.S. degree and her B.S. in Economics in La Trobe University and International Business from Foreign Trade University.

Cost Efficiency

Not Applicable.

Drawdown Timetable

Not Applicable.

Direct Labour

Position

General Duties

Working Hours

Main Researcher

Responsible for:

- main research work

- specific case studies  

- final research report

 - Collection and analysis data for research,

95  working days in 240 hours

2 Persons

Provide short-term clerical and partly administrative support for the workshop

50 days each

Waivers

Waver for Advance Payment: Travel airfare, per diem for speakers, active participants and researchers– to encourage participation in the project as many speakers and participants are not able to attend the Workshop because of reimbursement.

Are there any supporting document attached?

No 
Attachments
Version: 2.0 
Created at 26/11/2018 10:49  by Lucy Phua 
Last modified at 26/11/2018 10:51  by Lucy Phua 
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
Content Type: Standard Proposal
Version:
Created at by
Last modified at by
Go Search