MSME Circularity

In ASEAN, we are committed to promoting circularity in MSMEs across the region. Through collaborative efforts, ASEAN member states are working towards achieving a circular economy that is inclusive and brings benefits to all sides.

One of the key approaches is to promote MSME understanding and upskill them to embrace circular business practices through various initiatives and activities.

One important initiative is the Framework for Circular Economy for ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), adopted in 2021, that created a structured pathway for a supportive ecosystem for circular business models.

It builds upon existing initiatives and introduces new activities to accelerate the region’s transition to a circular economy.

Several engagements involving the government and the private sector are also taking place this year, thereby offering a platform for sharing best practices and ensuring inclusivity as part of the policy-making process.

Recently, the Policy Dialogue on Enhancing Green Practices for MSMEs was conducted in May 2023, the 9th AEC Dialogue, which focused on the development of the ASEAN Strategy for Carbon Neutrality, was held in June 2023 and a policy dialogue on MSMEs’ participation in the circular economy is scheduled in July 2023. Such events would align interests and foster effective communication between multiple actors with diverse priorities and perspectives.

Through public-private collaboration, a variety of instruments have been developed to raise awareness and capacity building for both policymakers and enterprises. The Climate Change Guidelines for ASEAN SMEs provide a great resource on why MSMEs should be concerned about climate change and how to better prepare them for climate-related risks.

In addition, the ASEAN SME Academy’s Business Continuity and Resilience Tab offers tools to help MSMEs prepare for the future, including by implementing sustainable approaches. Providing content in local languages and having direct outreach to local businesses would accelerate the spread of information and knowledge to several MSMEs in the region.

Finally, building partnerships between businesses, innovators, service providers, and investors is imperative. Through ASEAN’s flagship platform for MSMEs to internationalize, ASEAN Access, business-matching opportunities are provided to enable circular MSMEs to promote their offerings and meet potential buyers from within and beyond the region.

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