e-ISSN 2231-8542
ISSN 1511-3701

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SMEs Development and ASEAN Economic Integration: An Analysis of Singapore and Malaysia

Thanawat Pimoljinda and Ritthikorn Siriprasertchok

Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science, Volume 26, Issue 1, March 2018

Keywords: ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint, ASEAN Economic Community, economic integration, regional cooperation, small and medium enterprises development, strategic orientation

Published on: 20 Mac 2018

This article aims to examine the role of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states in enhancing the capability of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) for the purpose of achieving their ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint. A comparative case study between Singapore and Malaysia was adopted whereby multiple sources of data and information were gathered and synthesised using content analysis. Quantitative data were also used to support the qualitative analysis. An essential result indicates that even though Singapore and Malaysia have collectively agreed to develop regional economic community using SMEs as a tool, their strategic-oriented economic policies seem to be affiliated outside the group. They are more open to trade and investment with countries outside the group than their ASEAN partners. Additionally, besides the internal restrictions and differences on productive resources, market demands, workforce skills, and even technology and innovation for SMEs development, a paramount challenge stems from the aspiration of being the key economic player at both regional and global levels. Therefore, the pursuit of economic power has practically undermined the collective agreement mentioned above, and has simultaneously put the ASEAN regional economic integration process in jeopardy in face of the inconsistency of its member states' strategies and policies.

ISSN 1511-3701

e-ISSN 2231-8542

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