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Digitizing SMEs in the manufacturing sector

15 Oct 2021

In 2019, the APO published a research report on the status of digitization strategies for SMEs in member countries and their readiness to embrace the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Overall, the report noted that most member countries were still in the early stage of implementation and focusing on creating awareness of the benefits, educating stakeholders on the importance of adopting advanced technology, expanding internet access, and examining the level of investment needed for SMEs to embark on digital transformation.

In collaboration with the Japan Productivity Center (JPC), the APO organized a virtual Workshop on Digitization of SMEs in the Manufacturing Sector, 28–30 September, to develop a framework to guide SMEs toward digitization for sustained productivity growth. It also provided an opportunity for NPOs to exchange ideas. The workshop combined conceptual and practical materials regarding digitization of SMEs in manufacturing with case studies from Japan and the ROC. Topics covered included the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on SMEs in Asia and how they have responded through digitization, recent trends in digitization in the manufacturing industry in Japan, and smart transformation trends in the ROC, as well as, sharing by NPOs on their support for digitization of the manufacturing industry.

A total of 48 participants from 16 APO members attended the workshop virtually. Four resource persons, three from Japan and one from the ROC, were assigned to present the case studies and facilitate the group discussions. As the co-host, the JPC provided informative presentations on its new programs.

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