BANGKOK, 25 January 2022 – The ASEAN Coordinating Committee on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (ACCMSME) launched the ASEAN Access MATCH, a business matching platform, with a view to boosting trade within and beyond the ASEAN region.
The ASEAN Access MATCH is a new feature of the ASEAN Access, the online portal for business information on trade and market access in ASEAN launched in June 2021. Positioning itself as the flagship matchmaking platform in the region, ASEAN Access MATCH offers registered members of the ASEAN Access platform the opportunity to be a part of an international business community and create visibility for their businesses beyond the region.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Veerapong Malai, Director-General of the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion, Thailand, in his keynote speech, said, “the MATCH’s feature will be a gamechanger in connecting enterprises across ASEAN and beyond to remain relevant in the global supply chain by establishing business connections from MATCH services which include live market information events, 1-2-1 matchmaking meetings, and product and technologies showcasing opportunities.”
In her remarks, Dato’ Suriani binti Dato’ Ahmad, Chair of ACCMSME and Secretary-General of the Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives of Malaysia, acknowledged that the small and medium enterprises faced various challenges to expand beyond their country borders, citing access to reliable distribution network and cost to connect as examples.
She expressed hope that the introduction of the ASEAN Access MATCH would remove these limitations for SMEs and encourage ACCMSME members to take advantage of the tools to facilitate MSMEs under their purview to internationalise.
Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Economic Community Satvinder Singh in his congratulatory remarks commended the timeliness of the introduction of the ASEAN Access MATCH feature, recalling the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement which entered into force on 1st January 2022.
The ASEAN Access and, by extension, MATCH, is an initiative of the ACCMSME, spearheaded by the OSMEP, Thailand and supported by the Federal Government of Germany and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.
Reinhold Elges, Country Director of GIZ Thailand and Malaysia, highlighted the convenience of connecting to businesses abroad offered by the ASEAN Access MATCH.
“ASEAN Access MATCH will allow these businesses and entrepreneurs to connect with buyers and suppliers in ASEAN and beyond, at the click of a button. No more extensive travelling to meet a potential client, and no more travelling and accommodation costs when meeting suppliers. ASEAN Access MATCH will allow businesses to connect virtually with one another and showcase their products and services, free of charge,” he stated, in his remarks.
The ASEAN Access contributes to the implementation of the ASEAN Strategic Action Plan for SME Development 2016 – 2025 which envisions to create globally competitive MSMEs that are seamlessly integrated into the ASEAN community by focusing on initiatives to promote productivity, technology and innovation; increase access to finance, enhance market access and internationalisation; enhance policy and regulatory environment and promote entrepreneurship and human capital development.