ASEAN countries have made progress in SME policies – especially on GVC integration, business development and e-commerce – but future productivity growth will depend on continued reforms, says new joint OECD-ERIA-ASEAN report
AEM 2018, Singapore, 01/09/2018
A new benchmarking study released today by the OECD, ERIA and the ASEAN Secretariat reveals considerable progress in advancing policy frameworks for small and medium-size enterprise (SME) development in Southeast Asia.
The region as a whole is a powerhouse for global trade, and has demonstrated remarkable success at integrating into global value chains. However many SMEs across the region remain concentrated in low value-added activities, and in many economies productivity growth in the FDI sector significantly outstrips growth in non-FDI sectors. Since SMEs constitute the majority of firms across Southeast Asia, bolstering policies to facilitate their creation, development and exit may have a positive impact on aggregate productivity growth, which is a key priority for policy makers across ASEAN.
The ASEAN SME Policy Index 2018 maps and benchmarks SME development policies across ASEAN Member States (AMS). The assessment cuts across eight different policy areas related to SME development, namely: i) productivity, technology and innovation; ii) environmental policies and SMEs; iii) access to finance; iv) access to market and internationalisation; v) institutional framework; vi) legislation, regulation and tax; vii) entrepreneurial education and skills; and viii) social and inclusive entrepreneurship.
The assessment was completed with considerable support from the ASEAN Coordinating Committee on MSMEs (ACCMSME) and received input from over 300 policy makers across the region It took place over the course of Q2 to Q3 2017 and was based on over 600 indicators. Key findings include:
The report builds on a similar assessment conducted in 2014 (the ASEAN SME Policy Index 2014) as well as SME Policy Index assessments conducted in other OECD-partner regions. It was undertaken within the framework of the OECD Southeast Asia Regional Programme.