The better the question. The better the answer. The better the world works. У вас есть вопрос? У нас есть ответ. Решая сложные задачи бизнеса, мы улучшаем мир. У вас є запитання? У нас є відповідь. Вирішуючи складні завдання бізнесу, ми змінюємо світ на краще. Meilleure la question, meilleure la réponse. Pour un monde meilleur. 問題越好。答案越好。商業世界越美好。 问题越好。答案越好。商业世界越美好。

ASEAN SMEs: Are you transforming for the future?

Given the constant macro-economic and structural shifts, greater competition, rapid technological advances and increasingly exacting consumer requirements, today’s Asean SMEs are operating in interesting times. They must be more agile and adaptable, and actively leverage support from their governments and financial services sectors to successfully navigate the evolving business environment.

Report Highlights

To help stakeholders understand how Asean SMEs are positioning themselves to participate in the region’s growth story, we surveyed more than 1,200 SMEs across the six largest ASEAN countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam (the ASEAN-6) as part of our inaugural ASEAN SME Transformation Survey.

The Asean growth story

EY - The Asean growth story

Four drivers are paving the way for the regional market’s promised integrated production platform and an enlarged consumption base, - with SMEs well positioned to benefit from the resulting economic, trade, financial and social cohesion.

Asean SME Transformation findings

To understand how Asean SMEs are positioning themselves to profit from the region’s growth story and adapt alongside the evolving environment, we interviewed over 1,200 SMEs across a number of sectors in the ASEAN-6.1

  • Strategy and operations
  • EY - Strategy and operations

    • The top countries where SMEs are most likely to project growth improvements in FY18 are Vietnam (68%) and Indonesia (67%)
  • Banking engagement
  • EY - Banking engagement

    • Majority of SMES (47%) are happy with their primary service providers while 37% would like to increase the level of engagement. 16% are open to explore other providers, be it other banks or non-banks.
  • Sources of funding
  • EY - Sources of  funding

    • 68% of our respondents - and even including more established enterprises - are open to non-traditional lenders. The core appeal is a much faster loan approval process.
  • Government support
  • EY - Government support

  • Leading digital innovation for SMEs
    • 75% of respondents seeking to innovate to seize business opportunities and grow their top line, with 7-in-10 looking to differentiate via customer service.
    • EY - Leading digital innovation for SMEs

1 Survey results are based on aggregated findings from 1,235 SMEs interviewed across 6 ASEAN markets in late 2017 referencing the financial year of 2018 (FY18). Responses are based on feedback from individuals representing these enterprises during the survey period, and may not necessarily be fully reflective of the regional SME markets as a whole. See the Appendix for full demographic details.

In association with


Contact us

EY - Jan Bellens
Jan Bellens
EY Emerging Markets and Asia-Pacific Leader
EY - Liew Nam Soon
Liew Nam Soon
Managing Partner for EY ASEAN Markets
EY - Michael McGauran
Michael McGauran
EY APAC Banking & Capital Markets, Transactions & Strategy Leader
EY - Li-May Chew
Li-May Chew
Associate Director and Senior Analyst, Banking & Capital Markets
EY - Jaslyin Qiyu
Jaslyin Qiyu
EY ASEAN Financial Services Brand, Marketing and Communication Leader

Country contacts

EY - Danil S Handaya
Danil S Handaya
Financial Services Country Leader
EY - Hooi Lam Chan
Hooi Lam Chan
Financial Services Assurance Country Leader
EY - Vicky B Lee-Salas
Vicky B Lee-Salas
Financial Services Country Leader
EY - Ratana Jala
Ratana Jala
Financial Services Assurance Partner
EY - Duong Nguyen
Duong Nguyen
Financial Services Country Leader