PETALING JAYA: Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) should take advantage of e-commerce and be innovative to become strong competitors in the global arena, said Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan (pic).
"In a globalised world interconnected through information and communications technology, e-commerce plays a key role not only in domestic and cross-border trade, but also in facilitating foreign investment through the supply of intermediary services," the International Trade and Industry Minister II said.
Ong added that e-commerce is particularly beneficial for MSMEs as it significantly lowered barriers to entry and operating cost for businesses.
He said this at his opening remarks while chairing the second Plenary Session of The 7th Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) Economic Ministers Meeting (EMM7) held in Seoul on Saturday.
During the session themed 'Strengthening Economic Connectivity', economic and trade ministers from 21 Asian countries and 30 European countries agreed on the importance of enhancing multilateral work on e-commerce.
Ong said the ministers also reaffirmed MSMEs' leading role in job creation, economic growth, and prosperity in both developed and developing countries.
"The ministers expressed strong support to internationalise MSMEs by fostering their participation in regional and global value chains," he said.
"This could be achieved by providing better access to information, improving their access to local digital infrastructure and enabling them to reap the benefits of Free Trade Agreement networks," he added.
The ASEM EMM was established as a platform dedicated to discussing relevant economic issues including trade and investment matters within the ASEM region.
With the theme "Reconnecting Asia-Europe: Innovative Partnership for Inclusive Prosperity", EMM7 discussed facilitating and promoting trade and investment, strengthening economic connectivity, and sustainable and inclusive growth.