Key representatives from small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) policy makers, ASEAN SME Working Group (SMEWG), partners and multilateral organisations have gathered at the ASEAN Secretariat’s headquarters in Jakarta for discussions on a strategic action plan for SME development till 2025.

Building upon the policy workshop, participants reaffirmed the vision that by 2025, SMEs in ASEAN shall be globally competitive, resilient, and innovative which can seamlessly integrate into sustainable growth and equitable development in the region.

To achieve the 10-year vision, five areas of strategic goal were formulated namely, enabling regulatory and institutional framework; enhancing access to finance, enhancing market access and internationalisation, strengthening entrepreneurial education and human resources development, promoting productivity, technology and innovation.

The ASMEWG plans to convene a public-policy dialogue in November, alongside the upcoming SMEWG meeting in Cambodia to obtain practical inputs and recommendations from the private sector – as the key stakeholders of the ASEAN Economic Community as well as relevant government and regulatory agencies in ASEAN member states.

A series of events and activities in drafting the strategic action plan beyond 2015 has been conducted with support from Japan’s Economy and Industry Commission, the economic research institute for ASEAN and East Asia, the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) and the United States Agency for International Development.-VNA