2BANGKOK, 26 June 2019 – About 120 participants representing ASEAN Coordinating Committee on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (ACCMSME), business registration agencies, and private sector representatives from ASEAN Member States attended a policy dialogue on formalisation of micro enterprises in Bangkok, Thailand yesterday.

As one of ACCMSME’s priority deliverables for 2019, the dialogue aims to enhance understanding about the informal sector and on how to encourage the informal sector to register their businesses through the provision of incentives to entrepreneurs as well as through law enforcement.  It also discussed how digitalisation of business registration services could promote business formalisation in ASEAN.

Chair of ACCMSME Destry Anna Sari emphasised in her opening remarks that given the right ecosystem, support, policies, and regulatory environment, the micro enterprises could have the same opportunities to achieve success as their larger-sized counterparts.  She also added that mutual understanding between the governments and the private sector should be the cornerstone to the efforts in formalising micro enterprises. Meanwhile, Ayesha Rekhi, Chargee d’affaires, Embassy of Canada to Thailand underlined the necessity of micro enterprises for the economic growth and expressed Canada’s continued support in development of MSMEs in the region.

Suwanchai Lohowatanakul, Director General, Office of SMEs Promotion (OSMEP), Thailand, underscored the importance of the policy dialogue as the recommendations arising from the Policy Dialogue will be considered as input to develop the Policy Guideline on Digitalisation of ASEAN Micro Enterprises, which will be adopted by the AEM and noted at the 35th ASEAN Summit. The guideline will identify necessary actions for bringing micro enterprises to the formal economy.

Participants benefitted from the sharing sessions delivered by representatives from Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, OECD, World Bank, International Labor Organisation and New Zealand. They also discussed and summarised key takeaways of the policy dialogue and provided recommendations on the way forward with regards to the formalisation of micro enterprises in the ASEAN region.

The policy dialogue was organised by the OSMEP with the support of Canada through the Canada-OECD Project for ASEAN SMEs.