The Southeast Asia region has easily experienced one of the highest growth rates, and investments and skills development have played a significant role in it. Capacity building has helped the national economies to adjust to the changes and advancements in technology, challenges associated with globalization, and work practices. In other countries, this process has yielded mixed results; significant advances have been achieved in growth and employment level or stagnation of economic sectors which further resulted in an increase in unemployment and social exclusion for many sections of society.
Southeast Asia's context of development has also transformed. Apart from the influx, new initiatives by significant powers outside the region have been instrumental. ASEAN governments are contributing to development assistance as well. As per a report about the Architect for Regional Development Cooperation released by Asia's foundation, argues that countries in the Southeastern region have the interest and capacity to shape regional development in Southeast Asia more directly, but they currently lack the tools to do it.
Across the ASEAN region, there is less emphasis on building up local capabilities for training in entrepreneurship development. Specifically, the financial aspects of SMEs create one of the biggest challenges for the entrepreneurship development sector to survive through the economic crisis, which is why it is a crucial skill to be developed in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and non-OECD countries.
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According to a study on Employment and Skills Strategies in Southeast Asia, one of the essential policies for skills and employment development is the priority of skills recognition. It states, “Countries in South East Asia should ensure that all forms of skills development, as well as strategies for employment and entrepreneurial development, are linked to areas of growth or industrial development. Governments, together with social partners, must carefully define areas for industrial development at the national and local levels. Once priority areas have been identified, it will be possible to ensure that synergies occur between strategies for employment and skills development as they do between industrial development and skills development.”
Some experts doubt that the ASEAN is not well-suited to play a more critical role in regional development cooperation. There are some significant challenges, and practical constraints to overcome. The experts also seem concerned that this region is isolated between different policy areas making it hard to work across various sectors, even though ASEAN has already overcome some of the challenges in specific areas. Below listed are some of these concerns regarding the future of the companies:
Centrality and Development: Due to the geopolitical nature of the recent rush in local or regional development initiatives, the countries that are a part of the ASEAN region would be better off engaging with donor nations as a cooperative. Which is why the ASEAN concept of centrality should be adapted to include regional development cooperation to overcome this problem.
Framework for development assistance in Southeast Asia: For ASEAN to influence developmental programs throughout the region without playing a direct role in oversight and implementation, the ASEAN members should shape development in the area by creating a regional framework that reflects the ASEAN's broad priorities and values.
Development actors: The non-state development actors need to change and engage much more effectively with ASEAN if they understand the culture and processes and do not seek exceptions or shortcuts. Instead of seeking “buy-in” for one’s project or agenda, it’s much more effective if they support ASEAN-led initiatives. There are several examples of how ASEAN sectoral bodies and policy centers have engaged more broadly with development actors such as International NGOs (INGOs), civil society, and the private sector which are useful models for the rest of ASEAN states.
Sustainable development study and dialogue: There are several specific examples, building on lessons from past centers, of how the planned institution can have a positive impact that can be implemented to solve sustainable development and dialogue problems.
Strategic level and Project level: Similar to the East Asia Summit, ASEAN should shape regional development assistance through strategic-level platforms for dialogue and coordination. While continuing to be involved in some projects, ASEAN's expansion for influence is unlikely to breakthrough via a more significant role in projects implementations.
The Southeast Asian government has implemented policies that help the organizations and SMEs in growing and developing which benefits the entire region. This development is the reason why people all over the world are willing to migrate to the ASEAN region. The diversified crowd in the companies adds more to their growth which further benefits the nation and the region.