About this website

This Resource Centre aims to provide information to relevant policymakers in Asia-Pacific countries on what one needs to know, and what one needs to do to implement MSME policy measures that can be most useful for MSME development in the face of macroeconomic impacts, intense domestic and international competition, and internal and external shocks, including the spectre of climate change and pandemics such as COVID-19. In particular, the Resource Centre aims to outline policies based on best practices that help MSMEs become more sustainable and develop international competitiveness and participate effectively in regional and global value chains.

The Resource Centre will take further account of the challenges Asia-Pacific countries face and is intended as a guide and reference point for governments and regulators, providing a roadmap for planning, assessing, and implementing policy and legal measures to support more robust and resilient MSMEs. The Policy Library on this website also offers case studies and examples of specific policies and innovations that have occurred in the MSME sector.  The Resource Centre gives particular attention to developing MSME competitiveness and sustainability.

The Resource Centre comprises the following major sections:

  1. Background and institutional framework for MSMEs in the Asia-Pacific Region
  2. General economic policies influencing MSMEs, such as macroeconomic policies
  3. Topics on developing MSME competitiveness
  4. Topics on developing MSME sustainability
  5. A directory of institutions relevant to MSMEs and MSME policymakers, both internationally and in ESCAP Member States
  6. Information regarding the Asia-Pacific MSME Policymakers Network of ESCAP
  7. A Policy Library of examples and case studies in innovative MSME practice and policy.

In the Asia-Pacific region, countries have evolved their own policies, institutional framework and support mechanisms for MSMEs according to their individual needs, stage of economic development and culture. Most of these policies, however, target MSMEs operating in the formal sector, while the vast majority of MSMEs operate in the informal economy. In Asia and the Pacific, over 68 per cent of the work force is in the informal sector.5 Because of the large number of MSMEs operating in the informal sector, reliable and accurate statistics on the sector are often lacking, preventing effective policies.

MSMEs need policy support to continue to promote business ownership and entrepreneurial skills, facilitate their transition from the informal to formal economy, help businesses grow and participate actively in the global economy. MSMEs play an important role in the overall social and economic well-being of their countries, contributing to progress on issues in health, education, decent work, societal and gender equality, food security, sustainable agriculture, and more.

By using this Resource Centre, we hope that professionals and other stakeholders working in the MSME space in the region can enhance their knowledge of policy approaches and examples relevant to smaller businesses.

About this website