Bongbong Marcos to ASEAN: Support informal, home-based enterprises
MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Wednesday asked the member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the region’s business sectors to support “nano businesses” or informal home-based businesses.
Marcos said such enterprises cover, among others, “make-up artists, vulcanizers, independent dispatch riders, vendors, repairers, and market women and men in the various open markets.”
Marcos said these “nano businesses,” which is an informal and still unrecognized business category, has been impacting lives of people in the region everyday but is somehow ignored.
“They play a very important but often unrecognized role all across our countries. But by classification, they often do not meet the MSME (micro, small and medium enterprise) micro-business criteria, which is the category for the smallest businesses,” he said at the ASEAN Leaders’ Interface with Representatives of the ASEAN-Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC).
“They are largely unaccounted for, but these informal business settings constitute a large portion of all our economies,” Marcos added.
Marcos asked the ASEAN not to forget the nano businesses, saying they are just as viable as micro, small, or midsize businesses.
He said that by supporting the informal business enterprise, they will contribute to the region’s overall economic growth and narrow the development gap.
ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) Chairman Mohammad Arsjad Rasjid Prabu Mangkuningrat supported Marcos’ call to recognize and support nano businesses.
Mangkuningrat is also the chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN).
The ASEAN has kept its position as the fifth largest economy in the world in 2021 with US$3.3 trillion of combined gross domestic product (GDP) of the 10 ASEAN member states.
Intra-ASEAN trade continues to hold the largest share of ASEAN total trade, contributing 21.3 percent to total merchandise trade in the region in 2021, constituting 21.7 percent and 20.9 percent shares of ASEAN’s total merchandise exports, respectively.