Less than a year before the target realization of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), competitiveness is no longer an option but an imperative for enterprises.
While the government is aware of its responsibilities in ensuring that the country is well-prepared for the AEC, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), being the backbone of our nation, should fully realize the significance of the upcoming integration, as well as the great impact that their community can collectively contribute to the integrated economy.
PLDT SME Nation, aims to raise awareness on the ASEAN integration through Future Talks, “Ready for 2015: Future-Proofing SMEs for the ASEAN Economic Community,” an action-oriented conference that will equip SMEs with prescriptive knowledge on the impending challenges and opportunities brought about by the integration.
“The ASEAN integration urges SMEs to level up and adapt to changes, as the demand increases for higher quality of products and regional competition becomes stiffer,” says PLDT First Vice President and Head of SME Business Kat Luna-Abelarde. “The diversity, however, will provide them the freedom and creativity to develop new products and services that can potentially spur economic growth within their local economies and the ASEAN economy as a whole.”
On top of harnessing the benefits of a single ASEAN market, SMEs should also understand their crucial impact to the local and regional economy. For one, they are considered the main drivers of the economic landscape for most of the ASEAN countries, as they account for more than 90 percent of business enterprises throughout the region, and employ between 50 to 99 percent of its respective country’s workforce.
In the Philippines, they represent 99.6 percent of the operating business enterprises, generating up to 32 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product. This highlights the role that they play in providing jobs for the local and regional workforce, which translates to more income for their own businesses and local economies.
“Future-proofing the SME sector by providing world class infrastructure and building an ICT culture can spell the success of the industry, and more importantly, the economy, as the AEC materializes,” concluded Luna-Abelarde.
PLDT SME Nation’s Future Talks, “Ready for 2015: Future-Proofing SMEs for the ASEAN Economic Community,” is set to happen on July 18, 2014 at the Solaire Resort and Casino Grand Ballroom.
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Saigon Business Corporation Pte Ltd (SBC) is incorporated in Singapore since 1994.