SME development in ASEAN

Set against the backdrop of the creation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in December 2015, this report examines the opportunities and challenges facing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the ASEAN region.

pi-sme-development-asean COVER lr

In December 2015 the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) was established, marking a major milestone in the region's economic integration agenda. To examine the current state of SME development in ASEAN, ACCA gathered the views of policymakers, economists, industry representatives and professional accountants (including members of the ACCA Global Forum for ASEAN and Global Forum for SMEs).

Key findings include:

  • SME awareness of the opportunities provided by the ASEAN Economic Community needs to improve
  • Policy makers in the ASEAN will benefit from the insights generated by the EU policy responses to similar challenges
  • The varying stages of economic development among ASEAN member states present particular challenges for an integrated SME policy for the ASEAN
  • Growing SMEs' participation in Global Value Chains is increasingly recognised as a route to direct export activity
  • Professional accountants can support SMEs. improving their knowledge and understanding of how to work successfully overseas.

Overall this report aims to encourage further discussion on the key actions needed to help SMEs take advantage of increased economic integration in ASEAN and support the region’s economies in maximising their potential.