Consolidating regional structures to promote small and medium enterprises in ASEAN (ASEAN SMEs)
Title: Strengthening Regional Structures for Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion in ASEAN (ASEAN SMEs)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: ASEAN, with a focus on Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Viet Nam
Lead executing agency: ASEAN Secretariat
Overall term: 2019 to 2022
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the ASEAN region often struggle to participate in regional or global value chains. Lack of awareness about potential business opportunities as well as limited access to information on how to tap into markets in and beyond the region remain the key challenges. Moreover, SMEs often don’t know international requirements and standards. This hampers their growth, making better access to the relevant information and networks vital. Capacity-building programmes aimed at internationalisation also play a crucial role in improving market access.
To underline the importance of SMEs for most economies in the ASEAN region, key documents such as the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Blueprint 2025 and the respective Strategic Action Plan for SME Development (SAPSMED) 2025 focus strongly on promoting SMEs. SAPSMED outlines important initiatives and results to increase the competitiveness and resilience of SMEs and enable them to reap the benefits of regional integration within the ASEAN region.
In close cooperation with the ASEAN Coordinating Committee on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (ACCMSME), the project is supporting the implementation of the SAPSMED 2025 with a dual focus on improving market access and internationalisation of SMEs, as well as improving the policy and regulatory environment.
SMEs in the ASEAN region receive support from service centres to improve their business operations, which enables them to participate in international markets.
With a holistic, multi-level approach in mind, the project will work together with the members of the ACCMSME, as the lead Sectoral Body. The ACCMSME members are expected to connect stakeholders from the public and private sector in the ASEAN Member States (AMS).
The project will mainly assist in addressing the specific needs of SMEs within the context of the ASEAN Economic Community. This means the main beneficiaries of the project are SMEs in the ASEAN Member States that have the potential to internationalise their business operations.
Together with the ACCMSME, the ASEAN SME project has reshaped the former online portal and re-branded it as ASEAN ACCESS “Your Business Information Gateway to ASEAN and Beyond”. Parallel to this, four national portals have been developed in Cambodia (KhmerSME), Indonesia (SMEsta), Myanmar (MSME), and Viet Nam supported by the project and will be linked to the ASEAN ACCESS portal.
Last update: February 2021