APEC Forum 2017, RI Encouraged SMEs Based on Women Empowerment

Hue City, Viet Nam: Indonesia conveyed the importance of support to the growth of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to empower women. Such empowerment is important, because almost 60% of small micro enterprises in Indonesia are managed by women.

This statement was conveyed by the Indonesian Delegation in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation - World Economic Forum (APEC WEF) 2017 series which took place in Hue City, Viet Nam (26-29 September 2017).

Chairman of the RI Delegation to APEC High Level Policy Dialogue on Women and the Economy (HLPDWE), RI Ambassador Sudirman Haseng explained that the Government of Indonesia is currently implementing a program or mechanism for the development of home industries aimed at reducing poverty.

According to Sudirman, this mechanism is expected to increase cross-sectoral cooperation in empowering SMEs, which simultaneously is to reduce the level of violence against women and children, the number human trafficking, economic disparities, and to encourage women to be actively involved in the economy.

"This home industry development mechanism also aims to bring women entrepreneurs towards access to capital, access to information and technology, market access, training access, and ultimately hope to improve family welfare and family resilience," added RI Ambassador Sudirman Haseng, served as Secretary of Directorate General of Asia Pacific and Africa, Ministry of Foreign Affairs RI.

The role of women in the economy is still not optimal, so a more innovative, holistic, and coordinated approach is required. APEC agreed to be more effective in increasing entrepreneurship and employment opportunities for women.

In addition, APEC will also ensure the policies of each member that guarantees the equalization of wage/salary rights between men and women workers, and ensure women's representation at the decision and policy-making level (leadership level).

The Forum also urged each APEC member to be able to open up greater opportunities for women to get education in all sectors, especially those that can support women's inclusiveness in economic development. The entrepreneurs also expect to be given special facilities and quotas for SMEs led by women in the procurement process of goods/services.

APEC HLPDWE produced the 2017 APEC Women and the Economy Forum Statement, one of which agreed to increase the role of women in rural development in line with one of Indonesia's interests in APEC's rural development and poverty alleviation (RDPA) forum.

The officials also agreed to provide funding of USD 1.8 million for capacity building programs related to women empowerment within the framework of APEC cooperation. This series of meetings were also attended by Indonesian women entrepreneurs from IWAPI. (Source: Directorate General of Asia Pacific and Africa / Yo2k)