ASEAN kickstarts the ASEAN SME Policy Index 2024 Development

26 July 2022
Group photo of ASEAN SME officials during the event to update ASEAN SME Policy Index through a hybrid event from 26 – 27 July 2022 in Jakarta. [GIZ]

The delegations attending the event were SME development agencies from the ten ASEAN Member States, representatives from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East-Asia (ERIA), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, and the ASEAN Secretariat.

in his opening remark, Mr. Thein Swe, Director-General of the Directorate of Industrial Supervision and Inspection, Ministry of Industry, Myanmar, and the Chair of the ASEAN Coordinating Committee on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (ACCMSME), underscored the importance of the reassessment and updates of methodologies, learning from lessons stemming from the pandemic and impacts arising from the current global situations. This sentiment was echoed by H.E. Satinder Singh, Deputy Secretary-General of the ASEAN Economic Community of ASEAN. In his opening remarks, he shared the key policy dimensions on digitalisation, promoting SME access to international markets, and sustainable economy to be incorporated in the updated ASEAN SME Policy Index.

Leading the OECD Southeast Asia Division, Dr Böhmer highlighted that the ASEAN SME Policy Index will be helpful for policymakers as it puts numbers on relevant SME policies and allow benchmarking of policy frameworks across countries. This would enable policymakers to zoom in on areas of strengths and weaknesses and collaborate effectively at a regional level.

Meanwhile, ERIA’s Chief Operating Officer Koji Hachiyama underlined the significance of SME policy index as the “assessment of the policies that shape the development of MSMEs can certainly help these enterprises in finding the necessary adjustments to successfully navigate the post-pandemic era.”

In his remark, GIZ Country Director Indonesia, ASEAN, and Timor Leste, Martin Hansen highlighted the importance of information on markets and trade support in ASEAN and how the ASEAN Access can contribute.  Owned by the 10 AMS and managed by the Office of SME Promotion (OSMEP) Thailand, the platform offers the possibility to carry out virtual matchmaking, trainings and workshops on SME-relevant topics.

Policy Monitoring Benchmarking Tool
Based on the methodology developed by the OECD, the SME Policy Index is a benchmarking tool for emerging economies to monitor and evaluate policies that support micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). It aims to improve the capacity of policymakers to identify policy areas for future reforms and implement them in accordance with international good practices.

The SME Policy Index covers eight policy areas related to SME development, namely:
(1) Productivity, technology and innovation (2) Environmental policies and SMEs
(3) Access to finance (4) Access to market and internationalisation. (5) Institutional framework (6) Legislation, regulation and tax (7) Entrepreneurial education and skills. (8) Social enterprises and inclusive SMEs.

The ASEAN SME Policy Index 2024 is a joint effort between ASEAN through the ASEAN Coordinating Committee on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (ACCMSME), the OECD, and the ERIA. The new edition is supported with funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) through the GIZ. The initiative contributes to the achievement of ASEAN’s strategic goals and desirable outcomes for SMEs, as outlined in the Strategic Action Plan 2016-2025 for SME Development.

The ASEAN SME Policy Index 2018 can be accessed from this link.

Joint release, published via ASEAN Secretariat website in this link.

Contact person
Yosthana Siphomsay — Component Leader
ASEAN Regional Economic Integration

Key buzzwords
policy, aseanaccess, digitalisation, asean, SMEs