The US-ASEAN Business Council (“US-ABC”) is pleased to continue our ongoing initiatives for the SME Workshop Series: Rebuilding the ASEAN Economy – as a part of the ASEAN SME Academy (“the Academy”) – which aims to help ASEAN small and medium enterprises (SMEs) recover stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic and better adapt to the digital economy. The upcoming workshop will be focusing on “Addressing Digital Skill Gaps for Philippines SMEs” – which will be conducted on Friday, July 29, 2022, from 09.00 AM – 01.30 PM Manila time virtually.

Digital transformation is the low-hanging fruit which often used as the foundation of economy recovery, including in the Philippines. However, there are several challenges for Philippines SMEs to adapt in digital transformation due to financial problems, limited resources, and gaps in human resources. Around 80% of SMEs who are located in rural areas outside Metro Manila faced these challenges harder. The lack of digital and financial literacy is the main issue for most of the SMEs, and most of them have limited access to reliable mobile or broadband internet. These challenges prevent small businesses from fully benefiting from digital technologies, limits the potential return on investments of digitalization, and discourages widespread digitalization. As a result, it is vital to support SMEs’ embrace of digital technologies by providing necessary materials and tools.♦

Date of Release: 25 July 2022