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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     3  June  2016  

A New Online Learning Resource Launched to Help Grow Businesses in ASEAN

SINGAPORE, 31 May 2016 – Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) in Southeast Asia are set to benefit from the launch of the ASEAN SME On-line Academy, which offers courses and business information for MSME, accessible through computers, smart phones, and tablets.

“The launch of the Academy supports ASEAN’s efforts to strengthen the development of the ASEAN MSME through training materials on tap that will contribute to knowledge enhancement and uplift MSME’ capacity and capability in doing business in the Community,” said Dr Wimonkan Kosumas, Deputy Director-General of the Office of SMEs Promotion (OSMEP), Thailand.

ASEAN MSME will be able to access Academy courses and tools that cover subjects such as finance and accounting, management, marketing, technology, and trade.  The business information on the Academy would also assist MSME to find networking opportunities and gain access to region-specific information to further grow and upgrade their businesses.  The training courses and business information will be upgraded and expanded over time.

“Developing entrepreneurial education and learning programs are a key plank of the ASEAN Strategic Action Plan for SME Development 2025 and we are pleased to see the first phase kick-off today, thanks to support from US companies,” says Mr. Nguyen Hoa Cuong, Chair of the ASEAN Coordinating Committee on MSME (ACCMSME) and Deputy Director-General for the Agency for Enterprise Development, Ministry of Planning and Investment, Viet Nam.

The Council, which is supporting this effort with ASEAN, believes the ASEAN SME On-line Academy can serve as a force multiplier for U.S. business efforts to support MSME in ASEAN through such programs.  “The goal is to further develop the Academy into a one-stop, online resource for learning about regional and international markets, latest technologies, and for access to service providers and more financing opportunities, and its online presence will substantially expand the reach of US-ABC programs to support MSME,” said Ambassador Michael W. Michalak, Council Senior Vice President and Regional Managing Director, in his opening remarks. “Courses are available for start-up businesses, as well as for more developed enterprises”, he added.

The Academy was launched in Singapore during the 1st Meeting of the ACCMSME and is supported by ASEAN and the US-ASEAN Business Alliance for Competitive SMEs.  The Business Alliance is a three-year public-private partnership launched in March 2014 between the U.S. Agency for International Development, through the ASEAN Connectivity through Trade and Investment projects, and the US-ASEAN Business Council.

Course materials featured in the Academy were contributed by Baker & McKenzie, Facebook, Google, MasterCard, Microsoft, PayPal, International Labour Organization, Hewlett Packard, and Procter & Gamble.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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