The 25th meeting of the Small and Medium Enterprise Policy Review Committee was held on December 21 this year (2021). It was chaired by the Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-Hua and assembled representatives from relevant government agencies as well as from industry and academia. Three reports were presented and one proposal was deliberated upon at the meeting, including "Measures for Promoting Digital Transformation of SMES" and "How to Support Net Zero Carbon Compliance by SMEs".
In the COVID-19 era, traditional SMEs face daunting business challenges with the development of emerging technologies and an international trend towards net zero carbon emissions. The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) invited representatives from different government agencies, as well as experts from industry and academia, to jointly participate in the meeting. Important topics concerning the growth and development of SMEs domestically, such as digital transformation and net zero carbon emissions, were discussed in order to create a business environment conducive to sustainable operations of SMEs.
Due to the impact of the pandemic and in order to help micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) carry out digital transformation, the MOEA has responded to industry expectations by proposing three main strategies: "Policy Guidance and Mentoring", "Resource Provision and Incentives", and "Environmental Preparation and Strengthening". The MOEA will help MSMEs accomplish digital transformation through measures such as consultation and business diagnosis, group guidance, subsidy mechanisms, innovation incentives, and talent cultivation. As part of these efforts, the MOEA launched its TCloud platform in July this year as a way to provide MSMEs with appropriate cloud-based solutions. Over 900 different types of cloud-based solutions tailored for MSMEs are available on the platform, and each enterprise is eligible for a subsidy of up to NT$30,000. This greatly relieves the burden placed on MSMEs-more than 17,000 enterprises have received subsidies from the platform to date.
Facing the international trend to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, the EU's plan to implement the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), and the requirements for multinationals to set up eco-friendly supply chains, the MOEA will continue working together with relevant government agencies to actively support SMEs in their efforts to reduce carbon emissions.
Efforts from the Environmental Protection Administration, the MOEA, and the Financial Supervisory Commission are elaborated below. First, relevant government agencies include the following : the Environmental Protection Administration will strengthen calculation of carbon emissions by industries, encourage industries to reduce carbon emissions, and complete a carbon pricing mechanism; second, the MOEA will provide guidance to industries to help them find ways to reduce their carbon emissions, as well as educate SMEs on carbon reduction; and third, the Financial Supervisory Commission has launched its Green Finance Action Plan 2.0 and begun to formulate a taxonomy for sustainable activities in order to facilitate green investing. In the future, the MOEA will continue investing resources to help SMEs cultivate carbon management talent and reduce carbon emissions by using case studies as campaign materials, providing consultation and business diagnosis services, and actively guiding enterprises to conduct their own greenhouse gas inventories. These efforts will help SMEs follow the global trend toward net zero carbon emissions and advance towards a net zero business model.
The meeting provided assistance to SMEs through collaboration between different government agencies, accelerating the adoption of cloud-based tools for digital transformation and providing guidance on achieving net zero carbon emissions to open more market opportunities. This is aimed at creating SMEs with green competitiveness in international markets, enhancing their overall competitive edge and building new impetus for Taiwan's economic development.