U.S. Supports ASEAN Integration for Competitive Small Businesses

Indonesian entrepreneurs hear about how digital tools can help make them more competitive.
Indonesian entrepreneurs hear about how digital tools can help make them more competitive.

For Immediate Release

Saturday, June 21, 2014

JAKARTA, June 21, 2014 – Today, 150 Indonesian entrepreneurs gathered in Jakarta to learn about opportunities being created by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Economic Community (AEC) and how digital tools and solutions can help make them more competitive at home and abroad.

At a conference organized by the US-ASEAN Business Alliance for Competitive SMEs (Business Alliance), FedEx and Seagate took the lead in providing key insights on logistics and digital tools to the attendees. The Business Alliance is a collaborative effort between the US-ASEAN Business Council and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in partnership with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Access to the economies of other ASEAN nations more than doubles the available market for Indonesian firms but accessing those markets requires the use of modern information and communications technology that small firms often need help to master.

"The United States supports an integrated ASEAN, recognizes the importance of SMEs to sustained economic growth, and encourages Indonesian SMEs to take advantage of digital technology to reach larger markets," said Ambassador Larry M. Dinger, Senior Advisor at the U.S. Mission to ASEAN.

Organized in cooperation with the Ministry of Cooperatives and SMEs of Indonesia and with assistance from the Ciputra Foundation, the workshop coincides with the Smesco Festival 2014 in Jakarta, an annual event that promotes SME competitiveness.

“Small businesses have always played a key role in Indonesia’s development and thriving economy, even through difficult times,” said H.E. I Wayan Dipta, Deputy Minister of Ministry of Cooperatives and SMEs. “This workshop will help SMEs gain knowledge from global companies on how to upgrade their businesses and be more competitive.”

The workshop provided a unique opportunity for SMEs to have one-on-one sessions with experts from leading U.S. companies such as FedEx, P&G, and Seagate as well as with representatives from KADIN (Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry) and Bank Indonesia. Through these sessions, Indonesian entrepreneurs could explore how cloud-based and mobile technology solutions, business leadership and talent development, and logistics solutions could be applied to their specific needs.

“FedEx believes that global trade is a conduit for increased opportunities for entrepreneurs, and is a key driver for sustainability and growth in a constantly evolving regional and global business environment,” said Hardiansjah Rizal Kristanto, Country Senior Manager, FedEx Indonesia. “The workshop provides a platform that not only helps entrepreneurs become familiar with the latest technology and development trends and tools, it enables them to gain firsthand knowledge and confidence in managing a company.”

"Seagate looks forward to sharing with Indonesian SMEs our perspective on the latest digital storage solutions and IT technologies so that they can utilize these advanced technologies to succeed in a larger, integrated ASEAN market with the establishment of the AEC in 2015,” said BanSeng Teh, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Seagate Technology.

The Business Alliance will conduct other training activities that will be held in cities throughout the region in 2014. It is currently developing a cloud-based training and portal to support Southeast Asian SMEs to access and exchange valuable information that help develop these small businesses.

For more information about the US-ASEAN Business Alliance for Competitive SMEs, contact Anthony Nelson at the US-ASEAN Business Council (cnitikitpaiboon@usaid.gov) at USAID.

Last updated: April 01, 2016

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