Press Release : Chairman’s Press Summary on Conference on “ASEAN MSMEs in the Digital Era:  Challenges and Opportunities” 5 September 2019, Bangkok, Thailand news3

Press Release : Chairman’s Press Summary on Conference on “ASEAN MSMEs in the Digital Era: Challenges and Opportunities” 5 September 2019, Bangkok, Thailand

                 On 5 September 2019, the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion, in collaboration with the ASEAN Business Advisory Council, the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, hosted the Conference on “ASEAN MSMEs in the Digital Era: Challenges and Opportunities” in Bangkok. The Conference brought together policy makers, members of the private sector and representatives from key international organisations and think tanks, including United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), Asian Development Bank (ADB), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) to enhance dynamism, growth and sustainability for MSMEs in ASEAN, as part of a people-centred ASEAN Community building process that leaves no one behind and looks to the future.

 

The Conference highlighted the importance of financial inclusion, adoption of digital technologies and innovations as key drivers for enhancing MSMEs competitiveness amidst the Fourth Industrial Revolution, keeping in mind the potential of MSMEs as the growth engine for the digital economy in ASEAN. In addition, policy makers, members of the private sector and representatives from key international organisations and think tanks exchanged views and recommendations to advance MSMEs in the age of digital transformation by promoting enabling ecosystems for MSMEs through public-private partnership.

 

The convening of this Conference is a reflection of the importance the region attaches to financial inclusion for women, remote communities and start-ups, as an essential ingredient of building a people-centred ASEAN Community and of sustainable development cooperation, which was highlighted in the ASEAN Leaders’ Vision Statement on Partnership for Sustainabilityadopted at the 34th ASEAN Summit. Following the G20 Summit in June 2019 in Osaka, where Prime Minister of Thailand attended as the ASEAN Chair, the G20 countries were invited to participate at the Conference in order to exchange best practices on this matter. 

 

The Conference has contributed to promoting sustained economic growth and sustainable development and to attaining the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, through win-win cooperation on sustainable development with external partners including the G20. Indeed, economic cooperation is an area of cooperation that is supported by the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP).