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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs    22 June 2012

U.S. Companies Engage to Help Grow Indonesia's SME's

(Jakarta)  Members of the US-ASEAN Business Council gathered today to offer a workshop to representatives of Indonesia’s Small and Medium Sized Enterprises. The workshop included speakers from some of the leading U.S. companies operating in ASEAN to pass on their knowledge in key areas like supply chain management, utilization of ICT, accessing financial services, marketing,  and creating successful business plans.  The event was launched by the Chair of the Council’s ASEAN Committee, Sam Kim, Vice President of ASEAN for Procter & Gamble, who was followed by Indonesia’s Minister of SME’s and Cooperatives

Syarifuddin Hasan, U.S. Ambassador to ASEAN David Carden, and ASEAN’s Director of Market Integration Subash Bose Pillai.

 “SMEs are the lifeblood of ASEAN. Many of the challenges that SMEs face in growing their businesses are the same challenges we face so we recognize that we are all in this together. If SMEs are successful, then we are all successful, ” said Sam Kim.  “This program in Indonesia is a pilot for the work we intend to do throughout all of ASEAN. As some of the leading companies the US has to offer in our respective fields, we believe we have knowledge to share that can help

SMEs grow their businesses. We also have something to learn from SMEs as they are often also big sources of innovation.”

 The full day workshop ended with the attending SME’s signing up to participate in a mentoring project with the participating Council members to help ensure they are able to take those lessons learned in the workshop and apply them to their business.

 “We understand that SMEs are the engine room of the ASEAN economy and armed with the right technologies and incentives the impact of SMEs on economic growth and social inclusion for the region could be even greater,  which is why this program is so critical to address both the needs of SMEs today and provide a view to future technologies as well,” said Andreas Diantoro, President Director of Microsoft Indonesia. “For SMEs technologies such as cloud computing support the advancement of ICT adoption and provide them with the opportunity to leverage low-cost, enterprise-class computing to drive efficiencies, access new customers globally and ultimately affording them a bigger role as partners in achieving the 2015 ASEAN  vision.”

 The program aims to help SMEs to become regional and global companies by providing access to tools that are not available to small businesses in ASEAN nations and connecting those businesses to experienced professionals who can provide a depth of knowledge and experience. By supporting the development and creation of ASEAN based SMEs, the program will support the goal of growing the ASEAN middle class and help ASEAN governments with their priorities to create broad-based, sustainable, inclusive economic growth.

 A number of Council members sent speakers and helped facilitate the workshop, including Procter & Gamble, UPS, Citi, Intel, Freeport McMoRan, Microsoft, Sampoerna, Seagate, and Yahoo!

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