For Immediate Release
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Mr. Chanyut (Pom) Nitikitpaiboon
HO CHI MINH CITY, April 22, 2014 – Today, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the United States and the U.S. private sector launched a partnership to promote small and medium enterprise (SME) development and growth to bolster trade across the region.
Formed by the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the U.S.-ASEAN Business Alliance for SMEs focuses on training, sharing of information and mentoring and builds on the Council's SME training program created at the request of the ASEAN Economic Ministers in 2011.
“By partnering with USAID we are expanding the resources, scope and diversity of SME training in the run-up to the creation of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015,” said US-ASEAN Council President, Alexander Feldman. “As in the United States, SMEs in ASEAN are a critical part of the economy which will continue to power Southeast Asia in the years to come.”
According to USAID Vietnam Mission Director Joakim Parker, this partnership “will make it easier for ASEAN SMEs to be more competitive” internationally. “The training will provide what ASEAN needs – leadership talent for high-potential and high-growth SMEs and strong corporate governance and business ethics.”
Today’s launch workshop in Ho Chi Minh City provided more than 100 Vietnamese entrepreneurs with the skills and knowledge needed to enter international markets which are often very different to those used to sell locally. Experts shared insights on cross-border e-commerce, exporting to global markets, and best practices of global suppliers by leaders from U.S. firms such as Baker and McKenzie, Coca-Cola, Google, Microsoft and UPS. The information provided will enable participating SMEs to be more competitive as they seek to expand their companies.
“UPS is proud to be part of the Alliance and support the launch workshop of the Business Alliance. We strongly support the efforts to promote ASEAN SMEs capacity by sharing information on our specialized expertise in delivering goods and logistics,” said UPS President, Leslie Griffin. “We believe that investing in the local SMEs will widen access across Asia and connect to a wider global network.”
Future Business Alliance activities will be held throughout the region with the next event planned for June in Malaysia.
The Alliance is also working to establish a cloud-based portal to support Southeast Asian SMEs.
Last updated: October 15, 2014