The transformative Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) represents 40 per cent of the global population and 50 per cent of world trade. Within the 21 member economies of the APEC region, micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) are the drivers of growth of innovation. They account for 98 per cent of all businesses. They also provide 54 per cent of regional employment and 70 per cent of total export value. If Canada is serious about successfully engaging with partners in rising Asia, this is a good place to start.