ADB: MSMEs key to post-COVID-19 recovery in Southeast Asia

10:21 | 23/10/2020
A new report from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) shows that strengthening the dynamics of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) with innovation and internationalization will be key to revitalizing Southeast Asian economies devastated by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
adb msmes key to post covid 19 recovery in southeast asia
Illustrative image (Photo: adb.org)

Hanoi – A new report from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) shows that strengthening the dynamics of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) with innovation and internationalization will be key to revitalizing Southeast Asian economies devastated by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

The bank’s Asia Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise Monitor (ASM) 2020 said MSMEs are a critical driving force in Southeast Asian economies, accounting for an average of 97 percent of all enterprises and 69 percent of the national labor force from 2010 to 2019. They contributed an average of 41 percent of each country’s gross domestic product over the same period.

“MSMEs in Southeast Asian economies mainly focus on domestic markets and their level of entrepreneurship remain suboptimal. Supporting the development of MSMEs, particularly in technology adoption and participation in global supply chains, will contribute to inclusive growth and aid in recovery efforts from COVID-19,” said ADB Chief Economist Yasuyuki Sawada.

He expressed his belief that ASM 2020, which provides a rich set of data and analyses on MSME development in Southeast Asia pre-COVID-19 pandemic, would become a benchmark in helping design feasible government assistance for MSMEs amid a new normal in the region.

The first volume of ASM 2020, released on October 22 at a virtual launch attended by ADB Vice-President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development Bambang Susantono, presents a detailed assessment of financial and nonfinancial issues facing MSMEs in Southeast Asia at both the country and regional levels. It also analyses policies and regulations surrounding MSME development and access to finance in each country in Southeast Asia.

Key findings from the report’s second volume, to be released on October 28, examines the impact of COVID-19 on MSMEs in Indonesia, Laos, the Philippines, and Thailand based on rapid surveys conducted from March to May this year.

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