RHTLaw Taylor Wessing ASEAN Summit 2016 was featured in The Edge Singapore article titled “Single ASEAN market will strengthen SMEs competitiveness”.
The article discussed about the goal of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) to create a single market within the bloc. This will benefit the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) through improved supply-chain networks, allowing companies to do business in neighbouring ASEAN countries more easily, as well as enable SMEs to leverage on the attractiveness of a united ASEAN market to the global economy.
Teng Theng Dar, Chairman of bartefli Holdings and Advisor at RHT Strategic Advisory commented, “SMEs look for a system where they are able to go… and they don’t have to worry too much about creating trouble, the single market approach [will mean that] when you cross borders, rules are the same. SMEs here have to combine resources
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.