Asia & the Pacific Policy Studies
The literature on the impact of the economic crisis on micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and how they deal with it is still limited. Focusing on the 1997–1998 Asian financial crisis and the 2008–2009 global financial crisis, this study aims to fill this gap. There are two key questions: how these two economic crises have affected MSMEs and what were then their crisis mitigation (CM) measures. To answer these questions, this study reviews experiences in several countries in Southeast Asia with the impacts of these two crises on MSMEs and their responses to the crises. It shows that the impact of the 1997/1998 crisis on MSMEs is different from the 2008/2009 crisis. Findings from a survey of MSMEs affected by the 2008–2009 crisis indicate that finding new customers or markets in other countries unaffected by the crisis or switching to the domestic market was the most widely adopted CM measure. For other respondents who made adjustments to their workforce, the most important form was to reduce working day.
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