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The role of local governments in local economic development (LED) is a critical question in the context of the ASEAN economic integration. Decentralization and market-oriented reforms offer local government, the private sector and local communities the opportunity to work together in new ways to improve the local economy. However, without an adequate framework to guide their actions, local government will find it difficult to navigate an increasingly complex environment. If communities are to benefit from the changing dynamics, local government leadership and good local governance are essential.
Local economic development (LED) focuses on enhancing community well-being through improved productivity and competitiveness, and the promotion of inclusive economic growth. Small and Medium-Size Enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of ASEAN economies; they account for more than 96 percent of all enterprises and provide employment for between 50 and 95 per cent in the member countries. In short, SMEs are the engine of growth and development for communities. They are also vital points of entry to stimulate young entrepreneurs and to create opportunities for women to participate in economic development.
Under the framework of DELGOSEA, UCLG ASPAC in collaboration with OXFAM, FCM, and Rockefeller Foundation is holding the “Enhancing Inclusive LED and Good Local Governance in ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) 2015: Towards Inclusive Growth, SMEs Development, and Women’s Economic Leadership” to bring together government, the private sector, civil society, and academia to develop the capacity of local governments to pursue inclusive local economic growth by promoting and enhancing SME competitiveness, with a focus on enterprise development and women’s economic leadership.
Linking with the regional agenda of ASEAN Economic Community 2015, this capacity building workshop aims to prepare local governments to cope with upcoming opportunities and challenges in the region. An important dimension of this effort is to develop effective and reliable approaches and tools for local governments to measure the quality of economic governance.The need for engagement and partnership between diverse sectors and players to achieve sustainable LED will be underlined at the forum through the establishment of a regional LED network.
This capacity building forum will include interactive roundtable discussions, stakeholder management exercises, case studies, discussion of emerging trends, current practices of local governments in ASEAN member states, generation of new approaches, strategies and connecting with diverse economic development players from the region. Participants attending this workshop will be supported to develop an action plan that they can carry out after they return home.
The training is held with these following objectives:
1) To help local government better understand the challenges and opportunities of the ASEAN Economic Community 2015, related to inclusive growth, enterprise development, and the role of women in economic leadership
2) To build the capacity of local governments in implementing good economic governance and developing SME’s competitiveness-action plan, as well as policy recommendations for ASEAN Economic Community 2015
3) To develop networking among associated stakeholders, including local governments, private sector, and civil society organizations (CSOs) and provide peer-to-peer learning on good economic governance
The main intended outcome of this workshop is to enhance the understanding of good economic governance in ASEAN by cities and towns. More specifically, participants will learn about:
1) Local government leadership and good governance in LED in the context of ASEAN Economic Community 2015
2) How to identify and measure key elements of governance relevant for economic growth, including through tools such as an economic governance index
3) Developing policy and action plans to improve their economic governance, in particular with the view to support SMEs, engage young entrepreneurs and advance women economic leadership
4) Ways to enrich good practices on economic development within ASEAN member states, including through effective partnerships and networking.
5) Creation of the working group of UCLG ASPAC on LED
The workshop will focus on good governance in contributing to promote SMEs in ASEAN member states. Elements of good governance will be the entry point to be used for further assessment of governance index. These elements will be elaborated in specific factors which are relevant to economic development of SMEs. Combination of several methods of training will be applied to provide in-depth discussion among the participants including:
– Webinar or online sessions subsequent to the workshop
– Workshop with presentations of best practices, interactive group exercises, and networking opportunities
Trainers at the forum will be leaders from all sectors around the region, whose work has earned recognition at the national/international level in the following areas:
The workshop will take place in Hanoi, Vietnam, on December 9 -11 2014 at the Prestige Hotel. For more information on venue, please visit http://www.prestigehotels.com.vn/
Participation in the event is by invitation only. Participants will include municipal government leaders and their relevant authority units, local government associations, development practitioners, corporate sector representatives, and academics who deal with SMEs and/or local economic development. The anticipated number is 50 participants from around ASEAN.
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