ASEAN launches “ASEAN Access LEARN,” Online training channel to enhance international trade capacities for ASEAN SMEs

Story and Photos: Yanin Sriudomphong/ GIZ Thailand

From left to right: Amri Bukhairi Bakhtiar from the ASEAN Secretariat; Onvarin Hotrabhavananda, ASEAN Access Ambassador & CEO of Onrada Corporation Co., Ltd.; Wachira Kaewkor, Deputy Director General, OSMEP; Reinhold Elges, Country Director of GIZ Thailand; and Malai Kornkeuwsomneuk, Director Bureau of Trade Capacity Enhancement representing the Senior Economic Officials Meeting (SEOM)

The ASEAN Coordinating Committee on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (ACCMSME) and the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises (OSMEP) in cooperation with GIZ have officially launched ASEAN Access LEARN, the online training channel under the flagship ASEAN international trade platform and network ASEAN Access. LEARN supports businesses across ASEAN in reaching new markets through capacity-building and knowledge-sharing courses on various topics in import, export and e-commerce, which can be accessed conveniently and free of charge via its online platform.

Through ASEAN Access LEARN, live virtual training sessions and self-study courses will be delivered by experts in international trade, within their industry and specialty, ensuring that all the training delivered is of the highest quality. All sessions and courses are conducted in English and everyone who completes the training will receive a certificate from the platform.

Mr Wachira Kaewkor, OSMEP Deputy Director General, highlighted the two-and-a-half-year journey of the ASEAN Access website in his opening remarks, saying: “ASEAN Access Network now has more than 40 public and private sector partners in ASEAN and beyond. As the ASEAN Access Network has grown, so have the international trade support services that ASEAN Access offers to businesses with updated features to meet the growing demands. This is why – today – the ASEAN Access Network is launching ASEAN Access LEARN, to help even more ASEAN businesses to trade internationally, by equipping them with crucial knowledge, especially in relation to import, export and e-commerce. LEARN is thus the competent learning platform that is suitable for all types of businesses and for businesses involved in all industries in ASEAN.

Mr Reinhold Elges, Country Director of GIZ Thailand, underlined the development of ASEAN Access LEARN and its new features, noting: “Key elements for SMEs to be successful in the global arena are that they need to understand local traditions, market entry conditions and barriers. ASEAN Access LEARN supports all businesses with live virtual training sessions and self-study courses on commerce and international trade taught by experts from ASEAN and around the world, allowing users to access all content anytime, anywhere, without any cost. On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), I would like to express gratitude to Network Partners and regional partners of ASEAN Access and other relevant organisations, whose engagement in the project has played a crucial role in bringing ASEAN Access LEARN to reality and enhancing the capacity of the ASEAN SMEs sustainably.”

This event also featured a panel discussion on “Leveraging Capacity Building for Increased Cross-Border Trade for SMEs” by experts from private and public sectors moderated by Mr Amri Bukhairi Bakhtiar, Head of Enterprise and Stakeholders Engagement Division at ASEAN Secretariat. The panelists highlighted hands-on experience in cross-border trading as well as an understanding of different trading regulations as the roots to successful business in the new market, on which LEARN will help shed light as a central learning channel for all ASEAN SMEs in the future.

ASEAN Access was launched in June 2021 to provide knowledge on trade and commerce in ASEAN, while supporting SMEs in expanding their business in international markets. It is a collaboration between the ASEAN Coordinating Committee on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (ACCMSME) and the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises (OSMEP) in cooperation with GIZ Thailand, via the Strengthening Regional Structures for SME Promotion in ASEAN (ASEAN SME II) project. Those who are interested in using the service or enhancing their capacity with the ASEAN Access LEARN are invited to visit www.aseanaccess.com.

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