RHTLaw Taylor Wessing ASEAN Summit 2016 featured in Channel NewsAsia article titled "Important to strengthen SMEs as ASEAN Economic Community takes shape: Ong Keng Yong"
The article was first published in Channel NewsAsia on 4 August 2016.
Important to strengthen SMEs as ASEAN Economic Community takes shape: Ong Keng Yong
Source: Channel NewsAsia
Date: 4 Aug 2016
Author: Calvin Hui
SINGAPORE: As the ASEAN Economic Community continues to take shape, it is important to strengthen SMEs, Singapore's Ambassador-at-Large Ong Keng Yong said on Thursday (Aug 4).
Currently, Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) comprise almost all of private enterprises across the ASEAN region, but only account for around 10 to 30 per cent of total exports.
Speaking as a keynote speaker at the ASEAN Summit 2016, organised by RHTLaw Taylor Wessing, Mr Ong acknowledged that progress in ASEAN economic integration has been "quite impressive".
However, he added that there are various challenges facing SMEs. These include a relatively lower level of labour productivity when compared to the United States, access to finance, a reluctance to internationalise and look beyond national borders, as well as cumbersome business requirements for SMEs.
Mr Ong, who is also a former ASEAN Secretary-general, highlighted several recommendations to meet these challenges, including elevating the ASEAN SME Advisory Board to the level of ASEAN SME Ministers Meeting. This will mean more attention is paid to SMEs, which is separate from the ASEAN Trade Ministers grouping.
He also suggested providing more support services to enhance the competitiveness of SMEs, as well as ensuring a systematic and flexible approach towards financing and capital.
Speaking to the media on the sidelines of the event, Mr Teng Theng Dar, who is the chairman of Barterfli Holdings, said the AEC represents a market of 630 million people for Singapore. He added that the private sector should take a more proactive approach towards realising the vision of the AEC.
RHT Holdings CEO Jayaprakash Jagateesan was ranked as “30 people to watch in the business of law in Asia in 2016” in an Asia Law Portal article.
The article mentioned that “Jagateesan, as CEO, is responsible for helping the firm navigate through the increasingly more competitive Singapore and greater Asia legal market with this listed, blended services offer.”
The 2016 instalment of 30 people to watch in the business law of Asia was built upon last year’s list and determined by readers who identified key people in the region they felt were and will be integral to growth and change. The article also discussed how 2016 will see the Asia-Pacific legal market grow in size as local markets and the needs of clients expand.
To read the full article, please visit Asia Law Portal’s website.
RHTLaw Taylor Wessing is pleased to announce the promotions of Jack Ow as a Partner in our Intellectual Property & Technology Practice, and Napolean Koh as a Partner in our Litigation & Dispute Resolution Practice with effect from 1 July 2016.
Jack handles a broad spectrum of intellectual property and technology matters. He regularly advises on technology transactions, data protection, cyber security and regulatory compliance, especially for info-communication and technology (ICT) industries. As a Certified Information Privacy Technologist (CIPT) accredited by IAPP and having a keen interest in ICT developments, Jack believes in seeking customised legal solutions that take into account the challenges in design, deployment and auditing of IT products and services, while balancing the role that technology companies increasingly fill as arbiters of trust in today’s data-driven global economy.
Napolean’s main areas of practice encompass both front-end advisory work for various construction, infrastructure and energy-related projects, as well as contentious work involving owner-developers, consultants and contractors at various stages of proceedings and forums. Napolean strongly believes that dispute resolution mechanisms and choice of forum issues should be carefully considered and crafted at an early stage, in order that client’s interests and rights are protected and not prejudiced in any way.