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Good Regulatory Practices to Support Small and Medium Enterprises in Southeast Asia

image of Good Regulatory Practices to Support Small and Medium Enterprises in Southeast Asia

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can find it challenging to cope and comply with regulations and adapt regulatory changes. Good regulatory practice (GRP) helps create a stable and enabling regulatory environment for investment, trade, and entrepreneurhsip, and thus supports healthy economies and regional competitiveness. This report is the first comprehensive stock-taking of GRP implementation in Southeast Asia to support local SMEs and their integration into global value chains. For each of the ten countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the report provides examples of GRP tools and approaches in areas such as administrative burden reduction, e-government, regulatory impact assessment, ex post evaluation, and stakeholder consultation. The report also includes an overview of collective efforts pursued at the ASEAN level to promote the GRP agenda across the region.

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Executive summary

Southeast Asian governments have been actively promoting trade and investment linkages between domestic firms and international markets, with the aim to unlock business opportunities and bolster national productivity and competitiveness. In Southeast Asia, participation in global value chains (GVCs) has contributed significantly to economic development and employment generation as Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries gain a foothold in the manufacturing and supply chain hub dubbed “Factory Asia”. Nevertheless, ASEAN governments recognise that most ‘big business’ is driven by a limited number of large firms, while small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operate at a local scale. Given that SMEs account for over 90% of all businesses and the bulk of local employment, their success is important not only for boosting gross domestic product (GDP) but also for improving socio‑economic equity.

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