Developers compete to build Apps for APEC SMEs

16:24 | 19/05/2017 Science - Technology

(VEN) - 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 talented coders are competing to build mobile or web applications that can help micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises, or MSMEs, begin exporting their products overseas

The goal of the APEC App Challenge arises out of the recognition by APEC Ministers and Senior Officials that the internet plays an important role in promoting the growth of small businesses in the region. The App Challenge initiative is supported by APEC, the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Viet Nam, The Asia Foundation, and Google.

At the official launch of the APEC App Challenge on Thursday, Ms. Lai Viet Anh, Principal Deputy Director General of the Viet Nam E-Commerce and Information Technology Agency, remarked that, “Recently, with the widespread of the internet, the cost of finding overseas customers and exporting has come down dramatically. And that has allowed more and more MSMEs 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 MSMEs.

Noting that the vast majority of Asia Pacific businesses are MSMEs, Qamra Jema Khan, an Android developer from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, appreciated that App Challenge sought 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, Ms. Qamra, Mr. Fogerty, and the other participants will compete for recognition at the 2017 APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting in Ha Noi, and for prize packages sponsored by The Asia Foundation and Google.

But though the App Challenge will end on May 19, the software products it generates will have the potential to make a positive impact. Thanks to the participants’ efforts, the App Challenge is set to result in the creation of real, tangible, and scalable products with the power to help the Asia-Pacific’s small businesses take advantage of the internet to overcome persistent barriers to growth.