Strengthening regional structures to promote SMEs in ASEAN

Strengthening Regional Structures for Small and Medium Enterprise Promotion in the ASEAN Region (ASEAN SME)

+ Show all
  • Commissioning Party

    German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

  • Country

    ASEAN Member States

  • Lead executing agency


  • Overall term

    2022 to 2025

  • Other Stakeholders

    ASEAN Secretariat, ASEAN Coordinating Committee on MSME (ACCMSME)

  • Products and expertise

    Economic development and employment


ASEAN recognises the vital contributions made by Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) as major drivers for economic recovery, resilience and connectivity. Growing cross-border and online trade worldwide offers new prospects for SMEs to tap into foreign markets. Resources and support are needed to promote this, for example, in the form of practical information about promising sectors, current policy requirements and how to secure relevant business contacts.

The project works with the ASEAN Coordinating Committee on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (ACCMSME) to implement the ASEAN Strategic Action Plan for SME Development (SAPSMED) 2016-2025. The main focus lies on supporting SMEs in internationalising their business.


SMEs in ASEAN are more effectively utilising the support structures offered to promote their cross-border business activities.


A core feature of the project is the ASEAN Access online portal, owned by the ten ASEAN Member States (AMS) and hosted in Thailand. As the regional “one-stop business information gateway”, the portal strives to meet the needs and ambitions of SMEs in ASEAN concerning cross-border trade. Activities such as market talks and cross-country business matchmaking sessions are hosted for free on the portal and made available to registered users. In a unique governance structure, government authorities and network partners from the private sector are brought together to jointly identify priority sectors and topics, thus stimulating public-private dialogues on relevant policy issues. These also link to the work in Cambodia and Viet Nam where national SME portals help increase the competitiveness of SMEs and prepare them for cross-border business. In addition, the project supports the national SME portals, namely Cambodia (KhmerSME), Indonesia (SMEsta), and Viet Nam, in linking up with ASEAN Access and its extended network.

A group of people in front of a curtain.

Last update: May 2023

Additional information