Manila, Philippines - November 19, 2015

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, announced today that Canada is contributing $4.74 million over four years (2015-2019) to the APEC Secretariat and the Asia-Pacific Foundation of Canada (APFC) for the APEC-Canada Growing Business Partnership project.

The project is aimed at increasing global market access for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to help stimulate economic growth and reduce poverty in the APEC region. 

The APEC-Canada Growing Business Partnership project consists of two main components.

The first component will establish a $2 million sub-fund managed by the APEC Secretariat that will support small-scale projects focused on helping MSMEs in developing APEC economies to innovate, grow, and gain better access to global and regional markets. A portion of these projects will be specifically targeted to helping women-owned businesses overcome barriers in accessing financing, markets, and human capital. As a result, it is expected that up to 600 MSMEs will expand their businesses, which will assist in generating jobs and increasing integration into the broader APEC market.

The second component, valued at $2.49 million, will be implemented by the Asia-Pacific Foundation of Canada (APFC). It will provide Canadian training, research, and mentoring to MSMEs in developing APEC economies. For example, Canada’s support will help fund research studies, surveys, conferences, and training focused on business and entrepreneurship skills, access to markets for products and services, and technological innovation.

An additional $250,000 has been allocated for monitoring and evaluation to ensure the initiative is achieving expected results.

Canada recognizes the significant role MSMEs can play in reducing poverty and is committed to sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction in the APEC region.

This announcement was made on the margins of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Meeting in Manila, Philippines. The theme of this year’s meeting is “Building Inclusive Economies, Building a Better World.” As the APEC Chair in 2015, the Philippines has prioritized the central role MSMEs play in promoting inclusive growth and the challenges MSMEs face in integrating into regional and global markets.