Jakarta (ANTARA) - The ASEAN Inclusive Business Summit has pushed for building a conducive environment for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) so that they can adopt inclusive business (IB) models that contribute to inclusive and sustainable regional development.

Indonesia is holding the 6th ASEAN Inclusive Business Summit in Nusa Dua, Bali, from August 23–25, 2023. Themed "Incentivizing Businesses for Inclusive Growth," the summit is focusing on the significance of multi-stakeholder partnerships in building an IB ecosystem in ASEAN through enabling policies, ranging from accreditation and coaching to innovative financing schemes.

Indonesian Minister of Cooperatives and SMEs, Teten Masduki, lauded ASEAN's efforts toward strengthening regional commitment to inclusive business through the convening of the first High-Level Ministerial Meeting on Inclusive Business.

"The High-Level Ministerial Meeting on Inclusive Business is a historic event for ASEAN as it brings together ministers dealing with MSMEs to exchange views and reaffirm our commitment to driving inclusive and sustainable business practices in ASEAN," he said in a press release received from the ASEAN Secretariat on Thursday.

The High-Level Ministerial Meeting discussed MSME development in ASEAN member states.

During the meeting, ASEAN member states adopted the "Declaration on Promoting Inclusive Business Models: Empowering Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises for Equitable Growth."

In its statement, ASEAN recognized the important role of MSMEs in driving economic growth, fostering innovation, generating employment, and reducing poverty.

The bloc also recognized the contribution of large businesses in driving productivity and stimulating income-generation activities. They also acknowledged the potential of the IB model for achieving economic, commercial, and social objectives.

The meeting developed a Plan of Action for the Promotion of Inclusive Business in ASEAN (2023–2027), which will focus on four priority areas, including strengthening policy support, providing technical assistance to businesses, and creating financial instruments to support IB.

Secretary General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Mathias Cormann, said that the ASEAN region will benefit from inclusive business models, and the OECD will continue to provide policy analysis to support inclusive businesses and policy makers in ASEAN.

"Looking ahead, the OECD stands ready to build further on our strong cooperation and support the development of an ASEAN Knowledge Hub to advance the Plan of Action," Cormann, the former minister for finance of Australia, added.

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Reporter: Shofi Ayudiana
Editor: Sri Haryati
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