APO has been conducting trainings/fora/workshops that are geared towards SME productivity. Realizing the importance of the productivity improvement of SMEs in the global business environment, three specific trainings/fora had been conducted that addresses concerns on SMEs globalization and competitiveness improvements.
For 2014, the forum aims to share information and state-of-the-art corporate management for global competitiveness adopted and promoted by prominent global companies and advanced countries. Hence, enterprises should identify core competence and corporate culture, determine what they value most, and modify their global management systems to suit global context.
To understand the current status and new trend of global strategy and management;
To consider how SME modify their existing systems for developing effective global strategy and management;
To learn best practices and success cases of global management;
To discuss future global strategy and management and build action plans.
The forum was attended by 25 participants from 16 participating countries namely Bangladesh, Cambodia, ROC, Iran, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam.
There are two participants from the Philippines, the undersigned and Director Rowen Gelonga, Regional Director, Department of Science and Technology Region IV.
SCOPE, CONTENT AND METHODOLOGY
There were five resource persons. The following topics were discussed:
1. Current status and trend of Global Strategy;
2. Korea Government policies for supporting SME Global Management;
3. SME innovation capability for Globalization;
4. How COMMAXX can successfully enter Global Market;
5. How to create future Global Strategy and Management for Globalization and Competitiveness, including the development of BOP.
Each participant presented their country paper in the plenary followed by question and answer session. For the Philippines, the country paper presented was a report on current status and trends of SMEs in the country in relation to globalization.
Topics discussed by other participants were global strategies adopted by their country’s SMEs, situationer of current status of their SME programs, and innovations in globalizing SMEs.
A group discussion on future global strategy/management and action planning was also conducted.
A site visit to COMMAXX was arranged for participants to observe how the company operates. There was a 30-minute question and answer session wherein the group was also able to express their opinions and inquire on certain aspects of the company’s strategies on globalization.
OUTCOMES AND EVALUATION
One of the new found learning is that MSMEs should go “Glocal” to be successful. Glocal means the ability to modify products and services to meet the requirements of both local and international markets.
The following strategies were found to be of equal importance depending on the trend and status of SMEs in the country where it will be adopted:
1. Innovation through imitation – most products are the same and with innovation on its use, purpose process, value, etc., it becomes different to the user and consumer.
2. Reverse Innovation – one of the best strategies to be global. While the process will not be easy, it is seen to be the way for SMEs to succeed in the global market and sustain it.
3. As part of the group’s output, participants identified the public organizations they believe can support SMEs to be global:
a. Asian Productivity Organization (APO)
b. Asian Development Bank (ADB)
c. Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
d. UN Industry Development Organization (UNIDO)
e. South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)
f. Mekong Agreement
g. Asian Economic Community (AEC)
h. Other regional organizations like BIMP (Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines), EAGA (East Asia Growth Area), IMTGT (Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand Growth Triangle).\
Benefits from the Forum
Aside from meeting new people of different culture, the forum provided new perspective on how SMEs manage global competitiveness in their respective country including Innovation strategies adopted. These were learned not only from the resource persons who were experts in the different aspects of globalizing SMEs, but also from country presentations of the participants.
Meeting my objectives for attending the Forum
The forum provided new and better perspective appreciation on how SMEs in the APO member countries are currently addressing the need to globalize and competition including the different strategies and innovations adopted or adopting.
Futher the forum met my expectations in terms of content, quality of resource persons and methodology.
RECOMMENDATIONS AND ACTION STEPS
The general recommendation of the participants to the APO with regard to SMEs are:
1. a follow-through activity for this topic and preferably a study mission;
2. Include representatives/RPs from identified organizations that can contribute/capacitate SMEs to go global and be competitive.
As participant and DAP employee, 1) i am willing to take part in any relevant national seminar or conference and deliver a presentation as one of the resource speakers on corporate strategies for global management and competitiveness for SMEs; 2) support APO/DAP project by committing our organization as potential site visit for APO foreign or local participants during conduct of projects; and 3) make myself available to DAP/APO as resource person/consultant to some of its activities/projects/advocacy and share my technical expertise as part of the NPO pool fo productivity experts.
MONINA DE ARMAS
Development Academy of the Philippines