|ASEAN SME LANDSCAPE|
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) often form the backbone of many modern economies, serving as an important vector of these nations’ economic progress. Research shows that SMEs represent more than 90% of all business establishments in almost every country. Hence, they are certainly a key determinant of a nation’s economic performance. In addition, SMEs are playing an ever-increasing role in innovation, and spurring rapid technological advancement across the world.
The growth trajectory of SMEs is undeniably optimistic, but there are also many hurdles impeding the sector from reaching its full economic potential. The World Bank estimates that SMEs contribute an average 51.5% of GDP in high income countries, but only 15.6% in low income countries. In ASEAN, SMEs constitute between 95% to 99% of all companies across the ASEAN economies but only contributing between 23% to 58% to the GDP, and make up only 10%-30% of the exports of ASEAN member states.
This data elucidates a clear sign of low productivity amongst SMEs in certain regions, and there is an urgent need to step up effort in areas where SMEs are stifled by challenges such as regulatory barriers, unskilled workforce, limited funding options, and poor access to technology.
With the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) coming into effect by end 2015, the 11th WIEF SME Business Pavilion aims to mobilise expertise from all around the world to help the SME community in Southeast Asia capitalise on the growth prospects. The platform will offer valuable industry insights and technical assistance for the SME community to make the best out of the various trade financing options, galvanise ideas to increase their innovation capacity, and develop defining strategies to transform their business into high-performing firms.
SMEs outside of ASEAN are also welcome to join this effort of the 11th WIEF SME Business Pavilion in creating a strong and robust network where all SMEs can exchange viewpoints, gather support, and foster strategic business cooperation. With such a large gathering of like-minded people, the Pavilion is poised to serve as an important networking opportunity for SMEs to extend their reach beyond their local boundaries. It certainly is an ideal platform for business owners to foster cross-border collaborations and increase their competitiveness in the international market.
Ministerial Dialogue: Building Resilient SMEs for Sustainable Growth
Masterclass: Building an SME Regional Ecosystem
A sustainable SME regional ecosystem necessitates a cohesive structure where government policies and multinationals work in tandem to support the growth of SMEs. How can multinationals include SMEs in their value chains? What policy changes are needed in building a sustainable system?
Panel Discussion: When Ideas Meet Funds (A Dialogue between Entrepreneurs and the Funding Community)
The transaction between people with ideas and people with money holds crucial details that need to be understood to increase the chances of businesses getting funded. Which businesses are right for SMEs? What are the characteristics of a successful entrepreneur? What are the skills and knowledge necessary to secure funding?
Masterclass: E-Commerce in SME Development
E-commerce is taking monetary transactions to a new exponential level. What are the benefits of E-commerce to SMEs and what are its barriers to entry?
Masterclass: SMEs' and Internalisation
In order for SMEs to grow and benefit from economies of scale, they need to think beyond the domestic market. But what are the barriers for SMEs to enter the international market? What roles can the Governments play in developing SMEs’ competitive advantage?
Panel Discussion: SMEs’ Gateway to Localisation
Penetrating the existing domestic supply chain is crucial to SMEs’ survival. How can governments build SME capacity through the localisation of the supply chain? What initiatives can be taken to create a sustainable localisation process for SMEs? What synergies can be achieved between MNCs and SMEs with regard to the domestic supply chain?
|SME INTERNATIONAL MARKET|