ASEAN Businesses Get Stronger Together through an Innovative Platform

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) account for more than 97% of registered businesses in ASEAN countries. Contributing significantly to GDP and job creation, SMEs play an important role in enhancing economic recovery and resilience in the region. However, accessing new business opportunities and markets remains a challenge for them due to limited financial and technical capacity.

Since 2018, GIZ has been providing technical assistance to ASEAN Member States through the “ASEAN Access” platform which supports the internationalisation efforts of SMEs. This platform provides free market information and connects SMEs with service providers in different sectors and countries. To date, ASEAN Access has attracted 44,555 visitors, 2,597 registered members and 712 participants in virtual business matchings.

ASEAN Access is steered by the government authorities represented in the ASEAN Coordinating Committee on SMEs. On the operational level, more than 42 business associations form the network that drives activities hosted on the platform. In a workshop held recently in Bangkok, selected Network Partners from the private sector discussed a longer-term strategy to enhance the functionality, content and ownership of the ASEAN Access. This involved six ASEAN Access Ambassadors from the business community who are tasked with marketing the platform.

“ASEAN Access is a useful digital platform to connect businesses. We will soon document and share our success stories to inspire businesses to join our network”, Ms. Cindy Chaw Khin Khin – an ASEAN Access Ambassador said.


ASEAN Access is a regional one-stop business information platform supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) with technical assistance from GIZ. In Viet Nam, the Agency for Enterprise Development (AED) under the Ministry of Planning and Investment is the national focal point for ASEAN Access.

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