January 24, 2021

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Right Money, Open Markets

The lack of access to financial resources and limited market opportunities are hindering the growth of millions of micro and small entrepreneurs. The  ASEAN Business and Investment Summit 2017 is a global dialogue led by renowned policy leaders in finance and key players in the market who will uncover the current realities in the accessibility and distribution of money and markets.

The discussion on Right Money, Open Markets is imperative to the roadmap towards Prosperity for All which banks on inclusive and innovative financing and a competitive and interconnected market.

The forum is anchored on the  ASEAN Strategic Action Plan for MSME Development, 2016–2025 which emphasizes sustainable infrastructure for the region. It identifies actions and goals which can strengthen the capacity of ASEAN MSMEs’ in various key areas. Two key strategies pertaining to MSMEs are: as to promote productivity, technology and innovation and to enhance market access and internationalization.

The other goals identified are to increase access to finance, to enhance policy and regulatory environment, and to promote entrepreneurship and human capital development. Essentially, the Action Plan determines activities that expand the opportunities of MSMEs to take part in value chains, industrial linkages and internationalization.

As a region with huge economic potential – with a total population of 625 million and a combined GDP of US$2.4tn in 2013 – large corporations and small and medium enterprises are identified as its key drivers of the region’s economic growth. Reports suggest that as businesses within the ASEAN expand, the region’s economic strength follows. This makes sufficient funding support for businesses a necessity in fostering a robust private sector.

Today, SMEs comprise over 96% share in the ASEAN market. They now provide 50% to 85% of domestic employment – a significant proof of its relevance in the development of the region. However, many small and micro entrepreneurs face challenges in securing not only capital but also sufficient finances to overcome trade barriers.

ASEAN Businesses Need to Embrace Capital Markets.” The Economist, The Economist Newspaper, aseaninsight.economist.com/2015/08/18/asean-businesses-need-to-embrace-capital-markets/.

Inclusive business initiatives from the governments and the private sector move towards greater integration.

How can policy shape a business environment which is conducive to capital lending for the SMEs?How does one strike a balance between meeting stiff international banking standards set by Bank for International Settlement (BIS) such as the Basel Core Principles and Financial Action Task Force (FATF), and the “relaxed from stiff standards” sought by banks servicing the MSME markets?  What can major banks and financial institutions contribute in the movement towards inclusivity? What can the small and medium enterprises do to establish strong support and get enough credit?

To shed light on the challenge towards building  a strong business environment for AEC, the panel on Right Money, Open Markets will facilitate comprehensive discussions on innovative and inclusive financing options and discuss the accessibility of these programs for micro, small and medium entrepreneurs.

ABIS  2017 is  the biggest and most prestigious business event in ASEAN  set to be a three-day conference presented by the ASEAN Business Advisory Council which will bring attention to the business, investment opportunities, global issues, and key strategic directions that impact on business opportunities for ASEAN member nations today.

To join this year’s ABIS, register now at