Aug 222014

MANILA, Philippines – The government needs to work on reducing the cost of doing business to allow small and medium enterprises (SME) to compete and take advantage of the upcoming Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) economic integration.

In a statement, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) president Alfredo Yao said SMEs would benefit from Asean economic integration if there are policies designed to improve their capacities to trade and to exploit expanding regional opportunities.

“Make no mistake about it: PCCI views the Asean Economic Community (AEC) in a positive light,” he said.

“But we acknowledge that the opportunities offered by greater openness can only be achieved if our local industries and SMEs are provided with the complementary support that will enable them to participate effectively and benefit from the global production network being built by ASEAN with its trade partners and important export markets,” he added.

While there are efforts to engage the private sector in realizing AEC, he said receptiveness to embrace opportunities offered has been rather meager.

This, as there are concerns on the level of competitiveness of local industries compared to ASEAN neighbors.

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In addition, Filipino SMEs participation in global production networks has been limited.

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