APEC Global MSME Forum 2021

The three-day APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) Global MSME Forum 2021 was the culmination of the organization’s Boracay Action Agenda to globalise ‘micro SMEs’. Participants included representatives from all 21 APEC member economies, including policy members, MSMEs, leaders from industry and business, academics, and officials from several international organizations.


Originally scheduled as an in-person event to be held in Boracay, travel restrictions led the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry to shift the conference to the virtual realm. Pico was appointed to the task of both activating the event and creating a versatile, user-friendly virtual platform to support its programme.

Participants entered the platform via a lobby in the charming form of a Boracay-themed wooden hut on a beach. Clicking on the lobby door opened the way to a variety of side-activities, such as the Philippine National Trade Fair, the Centre for International Trade Expositions and Missions, FAME+ and the Philippine Trade Training Center – Global MSME Academy.

The Forum’s centrepiece was a trio of high-level sessions during which APEC’s expanded role in improving MSMEs’ competitiveness and integration in international trade was discussed. Accordingly, the APEC Global chat function was integrated into the platform to ensure a high level of interactivity and connectivity among participants. A help desk chat was also available to enhance the user experience throughout the forum.

In all, 22 speakers were featured at the sessions, with a total of 505 attendees during the conference’s ‘live’ duration. The platform subsequently remained open to on-demand viewing for an additional nine days.