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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs  24 April 2014  

Business Alliance for SMEs Holds First Event to Boost Regional Trade

Ho Chi Minh City -  the United States and the U.S. private sector launched the first activity in their partnership formed in collaboration with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to promote small and medium enterprise (SME) development and growth to bolster trade across the region.
Formed by the US-ASEAN Business Council and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the U.S.-ASEAN Business Alliance for Competitive SMEs focuses on training, sharing of information and mentoring and builds on the Council's SME training program created at the request of the ASEAN Economic Ministers in 2011.
“By partnering with USAID we are expanding the resources, scope and diversity of SME training in the run-up to the creation of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015,” said US-ASEAN Business Council President, Alexander Feldman. “As in the United States, SMEs in ASEAN are a critical part of the economy which will continue to power Southeast Asia in the years to come.”

According to USAID Vietnam Mission Director Joakim Parker, this partnership “will make it easier for ASEAN SMEs to be more competitive” internationally.  “The training will provide what ASEAN needs – fostering leadership talent for high-potential and high-growth SMEs and strong corporate governance and business ethics.”
Today’s launch workshop in Ho Chi Minh City, provided 150 Vietnamese entrepreneurs with the basic skills and knowledge needed to enter international markets which are often very different to those used to sell locally. Experts shared insights on cross-border e-commerce, exporting to global markets, and best practices of global suppliers by leaders from U.S. firms such as UPS, Baker & McKenzie, the Coca-Cola Company, Google, Microsoft and Visa.  The information provided will enable participating SMEs to be more competitive as they seek to grow their companies.
“UPS is proud to be part of this workshop to inaugurate the activities of this public-private initiative. We welcome the opportunity to share best business practices including how logistics can support the competitiveness of SMEs when participating in global supply chains,” said UPS Vice President for Public Affairs, Shiumei Lin.
Future Business Alliance activities will be held throughout the region with the next events planned for June in Malaysia and Indonesia.  The Alliance is also working to establish a cloud-based portal to support Southeast Asian SMEs. The Business Alliance has emerged from the expanded US-ASEAN Business Council SME training program, organized by the ASEAN Committee led by Procter & Gamble, UPS, HP, and Microsoft.

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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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