(For the Japanese version of this article)

APEC HRD-CBN Project “Strengthening Human Resource Management System of SMEs for Facilitating Successful Trade and Investment in APEC” Kick-Off Meeting in Tokyo [April 23-25, 2012]

APEC HRD-CBN Project "Strengthening Human Resource Management System of SMEs for Facilitating Successful Trade and Investment in APEC" Kick-Off Meeting in Tokyo


As the liberalization of trade and investment advances in the APEC region, human resources capable of coping with the globalization of corporate activities are essential in order for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to seize the opportunity offered by this liberalization. The objective of this project is to help SMEs develop and secure excellent human resources through implementing effective human resource management (HRM) systems. The project will design a capacity building program to strengthen their competitiveness. In this initial kick-off meeting, the participating APEC experts shared information about related issues and discussed the future direction of the project.


April 23
-Workshop: "Capacity Building Needs of SMEs in the APEC Region: Commonalities & Differences"

April 24
Workshop: "Discussion on Tentative Prototype Programs and Case Development"

April 24
Company visit: Edokiriko Hanashyo Co., Ltd.


Fifteen human resource development experts and others from economies in the APEC region (Canada, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Philippines, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, and Viet Nam)


As trade and investment liberalization in APEC region moves forward, the opportunities increase for SMEs and emerging enterprises in the region to enter the global supply chain and to expand their markets for corporate growth. In the previously conducted APEC project entitled, "Strategic Intellectual Asset Management for Emerging Enterprises", the importance of human resources as their intellectual assets was pointed out, but many SMEs in the region do not necessarily have effective human resource management (HRM) systems to support it. In view of the situation, this project was proposed by Japan in 2011 to build management capacity in HRM to develop and secure excellent human resources and utilize them so as to strengthen the international competitiveness of SMEs in the region.

In the kick-off meeting, which was the first phase of the project, human resource development experts nominated by the representatives of the APEC economies shared information about HRM issues facing SMEs in their respective economies based on their preliminary research. They also identified commonalities and differences in effective HRM within APEC. On the basis of this exchange of information, they further discussed the themes and direction of cases to be developed under the project and considered the program content for a pilot seminar to be held later in the project. The experts visited Hanashyo, an SME that manufactures and sells Edo kiriko (traditional cut-glass handicraft) products in Tokyo. Here they learned the company's management policy and the issues and problems of human resource management.

Scene of the workshop

Scene of the workshop

The participating APEC experts

The participating APEC experts

Human Resource Development Dept.

(For the Japanese version of this article)

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