The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) vows to continue its effort of making the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) the front and center of its economic agenda by forwarding initiatives at the regional level through the staging of the “ASEAN MSME Development Summit: The 7Ms Towards a Prosperous ASEAN MSMEs” to be held on 14 July at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City.

The summit will elevate discussions on various aspects of MSME development from developing the right entrepreneurial mindset to providing the appropriate business models to support entrepreneurs to start, grow, and expand their business and fully take advantage of the regional integration.

As part of the programs under ASEAN Committee on Business and Investments Promotion (CBIP) currently chaired by DTI, the summit aims to gather stakeholders and key players that will support and recommend priority actions in advancing the MSME agenda in the region by increasing trade and investment, integrating MSMEs in the global value chain, and developing an innovation-led economy.

“We hope to share success stories and best practices of MSMEs present in the region. Consequently, we want to share with them on how ASEAN governments and key players from the private sector can help them reap the benefits of the regional integration,” said DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez.

MSMEs account for over 90% of all the domestic firms in ASEAN member states and 75-90% of the non-agricultural workforce. They continue to assume increased significance in the regional integration process as governments increase MSMEs’ active involvement in various fronts of regional economic activities.

“MSMEs provide the supplier base that supports the success and productivity of multinational enterprises (MNEs). However, they continue to face various hurdles including structural, fiscal and non-fiscal concerns. This is where governments can come in,” explained Secretary Lopez.