Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) represent an important sector in the Philippines. Yet, their productivity remains low compared to larger firms, due in part to limited market access. It has been shown that business associations can help SMEs build capacity, gain market access and grow. Using a survey of 530 SMEs in Metro Manila and a series of key informant interviews with SMEs and business associations, this paper studies 1) the challenges faced by SMEs in accessing markets and 2) the role of business associations in SME development.
Conducted by Dr. Jamil Paolo Francisco and Tristan Canare from the Asian Institute of Management’s Rizalino S. Navarro Policy Center for Competitiveness, this research report is one of three published for the APEC-Canada Growing Business Partnership around the theme of market access, with a focus on the Philippines and other APEC economies.