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.



The regulatory environment for Myanmar is relatively less burdensome compared to its Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) neighbours, in part due to fewer laws and regulations in place overall. Yet a rapid enactment of new laws in the past decade risks creating an increasingly fragmented regulatory environment if ministries do not make concerted efforts to assess regulatory needs and impacts together. The government has nevertheless developed a clear and formal policy to support small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) development, which has been accompanied by an SME law to support its implementation. National standards for products and services have not yet been developed in Myanmar, so businesses deciding to export must comply with foreign standards negotiated on a case-by-case basis. This risks limiting the scale of trade opportunities for SMEs by imposing excessive administrative and financial burdens on SMEs striving to meet multiple standards for different buyers.


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