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According to the Asia and Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC), SMEs accounted for more than 97% of all businesses in the Asia-Pacific region, employing over half of the workforce in 2022. Many SMEs have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, although they are gradually recovering from the economic losses. Japan is facing a population decline and shrinking domestic market in addition to damage caused by the pandemic, requiring its SMEs to seek new international business opportunities.
Sustainability is increasingly important in the Asia-Pacific region for many reasons, including environmental concerns, social responsibility, and economic benefits. Sustainable business models are needed to create a comparative advantage. With a culture of innovation and history of enforcing environmental laws, Japan has a strong focus on sustainability and is a leading producer of sustainable goods and services. Japanese SMEs play an important role in developing sustainable green products.
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