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22 Nov, 2015

ASEAN Strategic Plan Launched for SME development

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia Nov 21 (NNN-Bernama) — The ASEAN Strategic Action Plan for SME Development (2016-2025) will place more focus on innovation, technology and productivity of small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

In unveiling the plan today, International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed said the document was built on the achievements of the previous 2010-2015 Action Plan which charted six key policy dimensions.

They were; access to finance; market and internationalisation; human resources development; information and advisory services; technology and innovation and enhance policy and regulatory environment.

“The 2016-2025 Plan’s five goals are to promote technology, productivity and innovation; increase access to finance; market access and internationalisation; policy and regulatory environment; and promote entrepreneurship and human capital development,” he said when launching the plan at the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit here today.

Mustapa said the plan was unique as it would be a country champion for each strategic goal.

“The goal to promote productivity, technology and innovation will be led by Thailand and Vietnam, increase access to finance will be led by Malaysia and Laos, enhanced market access and internationalisation will led by Singapore and Thailand.

Indonesia and Cambodia will lead the enhanced policy and regulatory environment while p?romoting entrepreneurship and human capital development will be spearheaded by the Philippines, Brunei Darussalam and Myanmar,” he said.

With the implementation of the Strategic Action Plan, Mustapa said cooperation between ASEAN SME development agencies would be strengthened to positively impact the development of domestic SMEs.

Additionally, the trade minister said measures would be put in place to facilitate a deeper integration of SMEs into regional and global supply chains.

Mustapa said the plan also envisaged the establishment of an ASEAN SME Service Centre to link SMEs within ASEAN, including enterprises, traders, suppliers, manufacturers and consumers.

“The Plan includes an implementation roadmap to conduct periodic monitoring and evaluation of the progress of these measures.

“In all these plans, what is important is their implementation. Let us work together to nurture globally competitive and innovative SMEs which will create jobs and opportunities for all our citizens,” he added.