The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is urging micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to visit and register to the ASEAN Access website, the official trade information and business matching portal for MSMEs seeking to find business partners and export their products in the region.
ASEAN Access is a free tool for guiding businesses within the region to find new market opportunities, search for contacts and trade information, and overcome challenges associated with internationalization, the agency said.
Mylene Abiva, chair of the Women’s Business Council Philippines, one of the network partners of the DTI for ASEAN Access, said the portal “is one of the opportunities for us to share with the world our products and services.”
Speaking at the recent MSME Week 2022 celebration, Abiva advises local companies to think not only of the local market but also of penetrating the regional market, pointing out that the ASEAN middle class continues to grow and lead an increasingly digital lifestyle, a trend that MSMEs can leverage to expand their market reach in the region.
ASEAN Access has information about cross-border trade, a service provider data bank with practical contacts, and sector briefs covering various key industries.
It offers users convenience as they can search the data bank without undertaking the usual sourcing tasks, thereby saving time and increasing efficiency. Users can use the site to find distributors, business matchmakers, and other experts that can assist with challenges and tasks related to entering new markets
Registered users can also download insightful country profiles and sector briefs that will help them make informed market entry decisions.
They can also find detailed information on ASEAN trade regulations for goods and services as well as browse sources of support to expand their business beyond ASEAN borders.
They can also utilize the ASEAN Events Calendar to see what trade, business and matchmaking events are coming up in the region.
A key feature of the portal is the new ASEAN Access MATCH, which helps SMEs find foreign partners, introduce themselves to new markets and industries, and showcase their products.
MATCH is a virtual matchmaking, networking, business and trade events platform free to use for all registered members of ASEAN Access, DTI said. It enables businesses to present their offers and requests for products and technologies to other businesses on the platform.
MATCH provides travel and time efficiency through virtual matchmaking events. Companies can find new business partners and discuss collaboration through pre-booked one-on-one meetings.
Entrepreneurs can also browse the MATCH marketplace to view offers or requests from other companies. On the MATCH marketplace, the product and technology showcases continue even between events ensuring nonstop exposure for your business. MATCH market information events focus on each country and key sectors to show how to enter, where the opportunities lie, what the trends are, and how to successfully navigate the specific business landscape. All matchmaking and events take place on the same platform.
Businesses only need to register once, create their personal and company profile, and can then sign up for any of the events with just one click of a button.
DTI said it is actively promoting ASEAN Access, which was launched June 2021, as it can provide a great option to MSMES to go global with their products. The portal can be accessed at https://www.aseanaccess.com.