Reviving small and medium-sized enterprises hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and pushing for their digitalization for the post-COVID-19 era.
Those were the main topics discussed at the 26th APEC SME ministerial meeting, which was held virtually on Friday.
APEC members introduced their governments' efforts to support small businesses and startups during the pandemic.
South Korea's Minister of SMEs and Startups, Park Young-sun introduced three ways the government is looking to help small businesses.
"We push ahead with three directions. First, fostering startups in the non-contact sector, Second, building an innovation platform, and third, digitalizing micro and small businesses."
The minister said the South Korean government and the private sector will jointly create a so-called "Smart Korea Fund", geared towards investment in non-contact, AI, and biotech sectors.
She also said the country will build innovation platforms such as AI manufacturing platforms and non-contact service platforms that support innovation by SMEs.
She highlighted that her ministry is looking to create thirty-thousand smart factories by 2022.
And she explained how the government will continue to encourage small businesses to utilize wide range of sales channels, including online shopping malls and TV home shopping.
The meeting ended with a joint declaration, where the APEC members pledged to work together to help small and medium-sized enterprises.
Kim Jae-hee, Arirang News.