Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI – With just 24 hours to go, 22 software developers from APEC economies are racing to build new online tools to help small businesses grow. As participants in the 2017 APEC App Challenge, these coders are competing to build mobile or web applications that can help SMEs export their products overseas.
The goal of the APEC App Challenge is based upon the recognition by APEC ministers and officials that the internet plays an important role in promoting the growth of SMEs in the region. The App Challenge is supported by APEC, the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Việt Nam, The Asia Foundation and Google.
At the official launch of the APEC App Challenge on Thursday, Lại Việt Anh, Principal Deputy Director General of the Việt Nam E-Commerce and Information Technology Agency, noted, “Recently, with the widespread use of the internet, the cost of finding overseas customers and exporting has come down dramatically. That has allowed more and more small businesses to engage in international trade and join global value chains.”
Participants in the App Challenge were also enthusiastic about the role that technology can play in supporting small enterprises.
Noting that the vast majority of Asia-Pacific businesses are SMEs, Qamra Jema Khan, an Android developer from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, praised the App Challenge, saying that it seeks to use technology to help small enterprises “chart their destiny in the global ecosystem”.
“Even with limited resources,” added Frederick Fogerty, a participant from Auckland, New Zealand, “technology can have a substantial impact”.
During the APEC App Challenge period, Khan, Fogerty, and the other participants will compete for recognition at the 2017 APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting in Hà Nội on Saturday and Sunday.
The App Challenge ends on Friday and the software products it generates will have the potential to make a positive impact, according to a press release.
“The App Challenge is set to result in the creation of real, tangible and scalable products with the power to help Asia-Pacific small businesses take advantage of the internet and overcome persistent barriers to growth,” it noted. — VNS