ASEAN training course connects women-led SMEs hinh anh 1At the event (Photo:

Hanoi (VNA) – An ASEAN training course on improving export capacity for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) owned by women took place on December 21.

A report by the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) showed that SMEs represent 97-99 percent of firms and 60-80 percent of jobs in ASEAN.

In recent years, the number of female entrepreneurs in ASEAN has also increased over years with over 60 million helming companies, most of them are SMEs.

Director of the ASEAN Secretariat’s Organisational Structure Ho Quang Trung said at present, most women-led SMEs in ASEAN operate in fields with low value that require limited skills.

During the post-pandemic period, e-commerce and digital logistics services will help female entrepreneurs easily export goods, he said, adding that when the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership takes effect next year, trade among member states will thrive, thus bringing more opportunities to women-led SMEs.

Mai Thi Thuy, Chairwoman of the Hanoi Women’s Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, said governments of ASEAN member states should build policies to continue promoting the development of women-led SMEs.

Experts at the event also highlighted the need to encourage the involvement of women in digital economy by supplying support services to SMEs, improving their digital capacity and encouraging the use of information technology tools.

They suggested issuing policies to help SMEs access financial tools, thus reducing barriers to their credit access while making it easier for them to reach overseas markets by applying more flexible rules of origin./.