The growth and development of SMBs in Asia-Pacific over the decades have been key to the region’s economic success. According to Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, more than 90 percent of all Asia-Pacific businesses are SMBs, and they account for more than half of all our workers. This means that the region’s job security is highly dependent on SMBs and its relevance is even higher with 60 percent of the world’s population in Asia.
Successfully overcoming this pandemic, including the collateral damage inflicted on SMBs is a battle that institutions, organizations, and government bodies have to come together to make an impact. I believe success can be ensured via collaboration in a Public-Private Partnership with an ecosystem approach.
Business has stepped up to support governments in public-private partnership (PPP)
Governments across the region are doing all they can to protect people and their livelihoods. For example, the Indian government recently earmarked USD$260 billion in additional support to revive the country’s economy, and countries from Singapore to China and Australia have also made significant investments in the sector.
In Taiwan, our partnership with the Ministry of Education (MoE) significantly accelerated the nationwide transition for digital education and smart campuses, by enabling 2.5 million students and 200,000 teachers to learn remotely with Office 365 and Microsoft Teams.
Similarly, we’ve also committed ourselves to assisting SMBs in the region. This includes working to support new and existing government measures intended for strengthening SMBs during the pandemic. For example, collaborating with China Chain Store & Franchise Association (CCFA) allowed us to provide retailers challenged by the pandemic targeted digital solutions and technical support to sustain their operations and ensure business continuity.