The ASEAN bloc’s transition to a circular economy and the region’s preparation for a sustainable future are both greatly aided by micro, small, and medium-sized companies (MSMEs), according to Kao. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretary-General Kim Hourn made these comments in an article.
MSMEs are generally seen as crucial enablers of socio-economic growth, according to Kao, who was quoted by the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) and are deeply ingrained in the local community. Eighty-five percent of jobs and 44.8% of the region’s GDP are held by MSMEs in ASEAN. They are many people and households’ primary source of life and income.
He acknowledges the significant contributions made by MSMEs to accomplishing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in his article titled “Empowering ASEAN MSMEs to embrace circular economy” on June 27, the UN’s MSME Day.
According to the ASEAN leader, during the past three years, the region has seen a significant increase in businesses—particularly MSMEs—adopting cutting-edge techniques and procedures to stay competitive and relevant.
The article went on to clarify that technology adoption is also vital for enabling improved tracking and traceability and supporting creative business models when creating a circular ecosystem.
According to him, these advances led to a decrease in the need for physical resources, a drop in commute-related emissions, and the facilitation of the sharing economy through digital platforms. The development serves as an example of how an MSME embarks on a journey toward the circular economy.
According to the Secretary-General of ASEAN, governments must implement a long-term plan and carry out well-balanced activities that foster powerful economic incentives to establish an environment conducive to MSMEs thriving in a circular economy. Investments in infrastructure and technology, human resource development, and good governance should all be made to support this endeavor.
Kao stressed the importance of ASEAN working closely to assist and foster more MSMEs, including the public and private sectors.
Let’s acknowledge the difficulties MSMEs encounter, particularly when trying to access financing and technology, while simultaneously recognizing the significance of MSMEs and their role in the economy. We can realize the full potential of MSMEs and help sustain economic growth by solving these issues and fostering an atmosphere that allows them to flourish.