ASEAN Apparel, Footwear Entrepreneurs Eye Global Supply Chain

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  • Deretan sepatu kulit yang berada dalam proses pengerjaan di Pusat Industri Kecil, Jakarta, 9 Januari 2015. TEMPO/Tony Hartawan

    Deretan sepatu kulit yang berada dalam proses pengerjaan di Pusat Industri Kecil, Jakarta, 9 Januari 2015. TEMPO/Tony Hartawan

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Experts from multi-national companies met with 65 entrepreneurs ranging from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesday, April 7, 2015. The entrepreneurs were originated from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam.

    The meeting was held to discuss ways these entrepreneurs can integrate their businesses into the global supply chain and improve product competitiveness, especially in the garment and footwear sectors. The United States-ASEAN Business Alliance for Competitive SMEs (Business Alliance) collaborated with ASEAN and Vietnam's Agency for Enterprise Development (AED) in organizing this event.

    "Focused specifically on garment and footwear, participating ASEAN entrepreneurs will certainly gain the much needed skills and knowledge from the leading companies to meet the increasingly complex needs of today’s consumers in the region," said Nguyen Van Tuat, Director of the Assistance Center for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises in the South, AED.

    Although the expanding and integrated regional and global economies have opened up new opportunities, it has also intensified competition among enterprises and industries. Stronger economics have also resulted in more prosperous and more sophisticated consumers who continue to demand products with better quality, design, and safety, along with environmental sustainability values and social equity in sourcing, production, consumption and disposal.

    "We are thrilled to support the competitiveness of SMEs in South East Asia to join [the] global supply chains. Through our collaborative efforts, we aim to help SMEs capture growth opportunities under the ASEAN Economic Community, and prepare for participation in the regional and global economy," said Shiumei Lin, Vice President for Public Affairs and Sustainability, UPS Asia Pacific; and Vice-Chair of the ASEAN Committee, US-ASEAN Business Council.

    The Business Alliance's program focuses on providing information, training and mentoring services on best practices to participate in value chains. Through the alliance, ASEAN SMEs are provided with the opportunity to participate in a three-step training and mentoring program aiming at fostering and expanding their capabilities to access external markets and to integrate into global supply chains.