New Book Highlights Central Asian SMEs’ Timely Trade Potential

ADBI News Release | 20 January 2021

Tokyo, Japan – A new ADBI Press book details policy imperatives for igniting small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) trade driven growth, poverty reduction, and food security in Central Asia crucial to the region’s COVID-19 recovery prospects.

Co-edited by ADBI’s Peter Morgan and Keio University’s Naoyuki Yoshino, Leveraging SME Finance through Value Chains in CAREC Landlocked Countries describes SME trade challenges in Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) economies due to gaps in operational capacity, direct seaport access, transportation infrastructure, and financing.

Drawing upon experiences in this geographically and socioeconomically diverse region, the book identifies ways to amplify SME participation in production and supply chains and access to finance. Among the focuses include measures for enhancing regulatory effectiveness, financing options, entrepreneurial skills, and digital connectivity, particularly within the agri-business sector.

Leveraging SME Finance through Value Chains in CAREC Landlocked Countries offers policy makers, practitioners, researchers, and other interested readers important insights on the potential for SMEs to boost trade and inclusive and sustainable post-pandemic development in Central Asia.

Co-Editor Quotes:

Peter Morgan, ADBI

“SMEs in CAREC countries face great challenges in participating in international trade due to their limited scale, capital, technology, and managerial capacity, and their lack of direct access to seaports, generally inadequate transportation and logistics infrastructure, high trading costs, and underdeveloped financial systems.”

“It is necessary to break the vicious cycle between low productivity, lack of competitiveness, and inadequate access to finance that is prevalent in CAREC economies for unlocking the potential of SMEs.”

Naoyuki Yoshino, Keio University

“The development of global value chains (GVCs) in Asia and the Pacific has great promise to expand the potential for SMEs to participate in international trade.”

“By joining GVCs, SMEs can contribute to economic development in the CAREC landlocked economies by helping to diversify their production base, create employment opportunities, alleviate poverty, and ensure regional food security.”