ASEAN: More Information and Training for SME’s

BANGKOK – The ASEAN SME Working Group (SMEWG) worked with the US-ASEAN Business Alliance for Competitive SMEs and other stakeholders on the design of the planned “ASEAN Online SME Academy” during a regional consultation forum yesterday in Bangkok.

Adequate and timely access to business information and training resources in local languages is critically important to small and medium enterprises (SMEs).  There is, however, no single entry point to facilitate such access.  The Academy will be a one-stop, open-access gateway that provides business information and training resources to support ASEAN SMEs’ start-up, development and internationalization as well as to improve the business development services to SMEs from their providers.  As per demand and when needed, the business information and training resources posted in the Academy would be selectively translated into the local languages to maximize reach and absorption.

Preliminary work on the Academy started since the launch of the Business Alliance in March 2014, in consultation with the ASEAN SMEWG. This regional consultation was organized to update the SMEWG on the progress and development, particularly on the core elements of the Academy that will serve targeted SMEs in the region.  It also allowed the SMEWG, Business Alliance partners and other stakeholders to finalise a statement of the Academy’s mission, vision, and potential content.  There were about 40 participants in this meeting.

The Academy is a collaborative initiative between the Business Alliance and the SMEWG.  Business Alliance corporate partners supporting the Academy included eBay Inc., Hewlett Packard, MasterCard, Procter & Gamble, and Qualcomm.