SIEM REAP, 25 November 2014 – A Public-Private Dialogue (PPD) focusing on the ASEAN Strategic Action Plan for SME Development 2016-2025 (Post-2015 SME Vision) was held yesterday in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

In his opening speech, H.E Heng Sokkung, Secretary of State, Ministry of Industry and Handicraft of the Royal Government of Cambodia, welcomed the holding of this dialogue which aims to gather feedback from the private sector on the future direction of ASEAN work plan on SMEs. He added that for SMEs to grow, emphasis should be placed on improving the investment climate and enhancing capacity building for the private sector to compete in the regional and global arenas.  The establishment of ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) 2015 will provide opportunities for business and industry in the region including the SMEs.   

Participants deliberated and exchanged views on proposed goals and initiatives under the 5 key strategic goals of the Post-2015 SME Action Plan, namely; (i) Promote Productivity, Technology and Innovation; (ii) Increase Access to Finance; (iii) Enhance Market Access and Internationalization (iv) Enhance Policy and Regulatory Environment; and (v) Promote Entrepreneurship & Human Capital Development.  The private sector provided a number of inputs highlighting the need for information and facilitative measures as well as the need for monitoring through Key Performance Indicators to ensure success of the implementation of the post-2015 Plan.

The dialogue is part of the series of consultations on the drafting of the Post-2015 SME work programme.  It was held with the support of Japan through the AEM – METI Economic and Industrial Cooperation Committee. Some 120 participants from ASEAN SME Agencies, central banks, business associations, the private sector as well as Dialogue Partners from Japan, Germany, the US and research organisations, the Economic Research Institute of ASEAN and East Asia and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development took part in the dialogue.