SME Guidebook – Towards the AEC 2015


Implementing agency: ASEAN Secretariat,

Time: November 2013


"Accounting for 30-60% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of ASEAN Member States and being the largest source of domestic employment for all economic sectors in both rural and urban areas, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have a strategic and significant role in the regional economy. By providing opportunities for entrepreneurship and innovation, SMEs foster greater participation of all sectors, including women and youth, in economic development and contribute significantly to poverty alleviation in the region.

The impending establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 2015 will bring about many opportunities and challenges for SMEs. As such, it is important that SMEs understand ASEAN’s on-going efforts for them to be able to participate in the process of Community building. SMEs should be able to take advantage of the regional initiatives and national incentives, to adopt strategic measures, and to reap the benefits of regional economic integration. Leveraging on ASEAN’s integration
efforts will also enhance SMEs competitiveness and resilience, paving the way for their growing presence in the global value supply chains.

ASEAN is publishing this SME Guidebook Towards the AEC 2015 as part of our on-going efforts to capacitate SMEs. It is hoped that the Guidebook will be a useful reference for SMEs and the business community in preparation for AEC 2015, in full recognition that the success of SMEs is critical for the long-term sustainable growth of the region and the achievement of the ASEAN Community by 2015."

Please download the document (English version) here