APWINC launches ASEAN-ROK Cooperation Project “Enhancing Digital Economy Participation for ASEAN Women MSMEs”

22 Mar 2022

SEOUL 4 MARCH 2022 - The First Steering Committee Meeting of the ASEAN-ROK Cooperation Project on "Enhancing Digital Economy Participation for ASEAN Women Micro-, Small-, and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs)" was successfully held today through a video conference by the Asia Pacific Women’s Information Network Center (APWINC, Executive Director Dr. Jungin Jo, appointed as the UNESCO Chair in Communication Technology for Women).

The APWINC was approved as the implementing agency for the 5-year project “Enhancing Digital Economy Participation for ASEAN Women MSMEs” with support from the ASEAN-ROK Cooperation Fund AKCF, starting from January 2022 to December 2026. This project aims to strengthen the e-business competency of ASEAN female MSMEs through e-business and ICT training.

The project will benefit 15 local institutions that will carry out capacity building activities in all ten ASEAN Members States (AMS), 255 local e-business experts, and 4,050 female MSMEs in ASEAN. ASEAN women entrepreneurs would have the opportunities to build capacity for using ICTs and online business platforms as well as increase access to information through the project. The APWINC expected that this project also contributes to promoting cooperation among AMS as well as between AMS and ROK.

The Steering Committee was established to manage the project effectively through monitoring and provision of guidance, consisting of representatives from the ASEAN Coordinating Committee on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (ACCMSME), the ASEAN Secretariat, the ASEAN-ROK Program Management Team, and the APWINC. This First Steering Committee Meeting kicked off the project implementation by building a harmonised partnership and strengthening networking with ASEAN.

Najdiah Ismail, Deputy Undersecretary International Division, Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives of Malaysia, led the meeting on behalf of ACCMSME Chair. She highlighted the project’s contribution to ASEAN’s agenda on strengthening MSME development, accelerating digital business transformation, supporting women's economic empowerment and building linkage with ASEAN platforms such as ASEAN Access and ASEAN SME Academy.

The executive director of the APWINC, Dr. Jungin Jo, said that “I am convinced that this project will bring positive results of advancing ASEAN’s digital innovation, strengthening women’s competency, and raising the competitiveness of MSMEs. Also, there will be a massive ripple effect.” In addition, she expressed confidence that this project will become a successful landmark on the ASEAN-ROK cooperation project.

Forty delegates from ASEAN and ROK participated in the meeting. Participants shared ideas on the project implementation plan, exchanged opinions on the current issues and agreed on resolutions towards successful project implementation. The Steering Committee is expected to play a positive role in the selection of implementing institutions and consultants in AMS.