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In the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, intense worldwide competition to gain market access and rapid changes in the business environment are forcing enterprises to become more agile. Recognizing the importance of productivity improvement in SMEs in today’s global business environment, the Asian Productivity Organization (APO) organized a workshop on Market Access for SMEs in 2011, followed by one on Market Access for SMEs in the Service Sector in 2014.
The 2017 workshop on Global Market Access Focusing on the Retail Industry was held to enable participants to understand new trends and challenges faced by service-sector SMEs seeking to increase market share, focusing on the retail subsector. It was held in Phnom Penh in cooperation with the National Productivity Centre of Cambodia (NPCC), 13–17 November, to exchange information on retail strategies adopted in advanced countries as well as in the Asia-Pacific region to increase competitiveness and access markets.
During the inaugural session, APO Director for Cambodia and Secretary of State Phork Sovanrith, Ministry of Industry and Handicraft, welcomed the 22 participants representing 15 APO members and the three resource speakers to the workshop. He advised that they should consider global markets for their retailers as that would lead to sustainable productivity improvement in the future. He hoped that all would get insights on how to develop global market outreach through the workshop.
The participants came from the public sector, NPOs, retailers’ associations, and SMEs. The resource speakers were Managing Director & Principal Consultant George Wong of Hoclink Systems & Services Pte. Ltd. (Singapore), Managing Director and Chief Consultant Taneo Moriyama of Insight Inc. (Japan), and Director Abdul Kareem Sulaiman of It’s Biznes Pte. Ltd. (Singapore), who suggested guidelines for securing greater access to world markets. Their presentations covered an overview of global marketing, market development strategies, and success stories from the retail industry in widening market scope through productivity improvement. A workshop highlight was the introduction of a manual on developing global market access strategies tailored for SMEs.
Cambodian model company LyLy Food Industry hosted participants on a site visit, during which CEO Keo Mom described the company’s productivity improvement journey undertaken with APO and NPCC support. She also shared details of the global market access strategy adopted by LyLy Food.