Micro, small, and medium enterprise make up most of the businesses (by number of firms) in the countries of the Asia-Pacific region. In many of ESCAP’s Member States, there are specific entities that focus on MSME policy, but the diverse nature of MSMEs and their contribution to many different sectors of the economy can make coherent policymaking into a challenge. ESCAP’s previous edition of the Policy Guidebook set out with clarity the various considerations of policy that are specific to smaller businesses, and even now proves a useful guide.
Since the publication of the first edition of the Guidebook, however, new concerns around making policy for MSMEs have been coming to the fore. Questions about the environmental sustainability of MSMEs, about their contributions to social and gender issues, and indeed their relationship to all the Sustainable Development Goals are now part of the policy conversation. To reflect these ideas, ESCAP has produced a new version: the Policy Guidebook for MSME Development in Asia and the Pacific (2nd edition).
As well as robust discussion on the contribution of MSMEs to sustainable development, social inclusion and sustainability, this new version of the Guidebook also covers the more usual issues of MSME development such as finance, competitiveness, and trade and investment. This volume also collects policy examples and case studies of MSME from up-to-date, publicly available sources around the region. The Guidebook should serve as a concise overview of the various considerations that policymakers must understand as they design policies for the improvement of the business environment in their countries