Throughout SE Asia palms constitute an important component in agroforestry systems and home gardens. Most species are used for multiple purposes based on their physical or nutritional properties. Except for a few commodities of worldwide importance such as palm oil and coconut, many palm products either, do not figure in trade statistics or, they are merged with other products in a way, which makes it difficult to assess their importance. Here we will focus specifically on these products and provide an overview of both their sustainability and economic importance throughout SE Asia. We will rank the most important palms according to their versatility, an extremely important property especially for smallholders who depend on subsistence agriculture. We will conclude by providing a number recommendations on future research directions based on experiences from a recently completed EU 7th Framework project (EU-PALMS 2009-2013).