ASEAN small and medium enterprises (SME) officials concluded the regional kick-off meeting for ASEAN SME Policy Index 2024 recently.
The two-day hybrid meeting was attended by 55 officials from SME development agencies from ASEAN member states (AMS), representatives from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East-Asia (ERIA), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and ASEAN Secretariat, according to the secretariat.
The ASEAN SME Policy Index 2024 will revisit assessments presented in the previous edition and examine recent developments and new trends impacting the SME policy landscape in Southeast Asia and AMS.
Director-General of Myanmar’s Directorate of Industrial Supervision and Inspection and Chair of the ASEAN Coordinating Committee on micro, small and medium enterprises (ACCMSME) Thein Swe underscored the importance of reassessment, update of methodologies, learning from the pandemic and impacts from current global situations.
Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for the ASEAN Economic Community Satvinder Singh echoed the sentiment.
In his opening remarks, he shared the key policy dimensions on digitalisation, promoting SME access to trade financing and sustainable economy to be incorporated in the updated index.
Leader of OECD Southeast Asia Division Dr Böhmer highlighted that ASEAN SME Policy Index will be helpful for policymakers as it puts numbers on relevant SME policies and allow benchmarking of policy frameworks across different countries. This would enable policymakers to zoom in on areas of strengths and weaknesses and collaborate effectively at a regional level.
ERIA Chief Operating Officer Koji Hachiyama underlined the significance of the index as the “assessment of the policies that shape the development of SMEs can help these enterprises in finding the necessary adjustments to successfully navigate the post-pandemic era”.
Country Director Indonesia, ASEAN, and Timor Leste Martin Hansen highlighted the ASEAN Access platform in his remarks.
Owned by 10 AMS and managed by the Office of SME Promotion (OSMEP) Thailand, the platform offers the possibility to carry out virtual matchmaking, trainings and workshops on SME-relevant topics, in addition to supporting information on markets and trade in ASEAN.