Better Local Business Environments for Pandemic Recovery in Southeast Asia

Organizers: Asian Development Bank
Date and time
29 June 2022
08:30 am - 10:30 am GMT+7

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of Southeast Asian economies, accounting for an average of 97% of all businesses and 69% of the national labor force across the region.

However, SMEs face unique challenges as they have limited capital, resources, and staff; short life spans; and poor knowledge about government support.

While small enterprises are still recovering from the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, they are facing new challenges such as inflation, digitalization, rising debts, new trade blocs, and climate change.

This webinar from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) examined how to build a conducive business environment that can help SMEs in Southeast Asia recover from the pandemic.

The webinar built on outcomes and policy dialogue from the Southeast Asia Development Symposium (SEADS) 2022, “Sustainable Solutions for Southeast Asia’s Recovery,” on 16–17 March 2022 and the Provincial Facilitation for Investment and Trade (PROFIT): Measuring Economic Governance for Business Development in the Lao PDR, Second Edition 2022 report released on 31 March. 


  • Ramesh Subramaniam, Director General, Southeast Asia Department, ADB
  • Ming Tan, Founding Executive Director, Tech for Good Institute 
  • Michael Schaper, Senior Visiting Fellow, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore
  • Penn Sovicheat, Under Secretary of State, Ministry of Commerce, Cambodia
  • Aphisid Sengsorivong, Director General, Enterprise Registration Department, Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Lao PDR 
  • Oudet Souvannavong, President, Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Pham Ngoc Thach, Deputy General Director, Legal Department, Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Hoan Tran, Senior Official, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Viet Nam
  • Moderator: James P. Villafuerte, Senior Economist, ADB