Micro-, Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs): Challenges, Opportunities and Sustainability in East Asia
The potential contribution of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to sustainable, broad-based and inclusive growth in both developed and developing economies is widely recognised in both the academic and policy literature. MSMEs contribute significantly to employment, output, exports, poverty alleviation, economic empowerment and the wider distribution of wealth1 (Harvie, 2002, 2008; Harvie and Lee, 2002, 2005; Asasen et al., 2003). Despite this they face many difficulties, most of which stem from their small size and limited resources and capacity. Intensification of competition in domestic and international markets arising from the process of globalisation, regional economic integration, domestic reforms and competition from large domestic and multinational enterprises combine to create a challenging market environment.