Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr urges ASEAN to provide support to nano businesses

2023 May 10

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Wednesday urged the member-states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to provide support to nano businesses, noting that this sector could contribute to the region’s overall economic growth and narrow the development gap.

In his intervention during the ASEAN Leaders’ Interface with Representatives of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations-Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC), Marcos said these nano businesses are the various “solopreneurs” and home-based businesses, such as make-up artists, vulcanizers, independent dispatch riders, vendors, repairers and market women and men in the various open markets.

He pointed out that these nano businesses have been impacting lives of people in the region, but they are somehow ignored because of their status as an informal and still unrecognized business category.

He also argued that nano businesses are just as viable as micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

“They play a very important but often unrecognized role all across our countries. But by classification, they often do not meet the MSME micro-business criteria, which is the category for the smallest businesses. They are largely unaccounted for, but these informal business settings constitute a large portion of all our economies,” Marcos told the ASEAN-BAC gathering.

ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) Chair Mohammad Arsjad Rasjid Prabu Mangkuningrat, who also chairs the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN), backed Marcos’ call to recognize and support nano businesses.

The ASEAN has kept its position as the fifth largest economy in the world in 2021 with USD3.3 trillion of combined gross domestic product (GDP) of the 10 ASEAN member states.

Intra-ASEAN trade continues to hold the largest share of ASEAN total trade contributing 21.3 percent to total merchandise trade in the region in 2021, constituting 21.7 percent and 20.9 percent shares of ASEAN’s total merchandise exports, respectively. 

Filane Mikee Cervantes (PNA)