Myanmar SME Consultative Meeting
EBAC’s Task Force on Regional Integration and Connectivity, in collaboration with UNESCAP, is working towards the implementation of an online Small and Medium Size Enterprises (SME) connectivity platform. SMEs make up an important segment of the global economy and are pivotal to Myanmar’s economic development. However SMEs often have limited financial and human resources, and have limited capabilities to effectively compete in regional or global markets. To address these challenges, EBAC and ESCAP have conceptualized the development of an SME connectivity platform, in order to improve the resources available for SMEs and enhance their ability to integrate into global value chains. The platform aims to be a unique resource point for SMEs to gain business connections, resources and knowledge necessary to further develop their businesses.
The Task Force met on 24-25 January with the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) and Myanmar based SMEs. The consultation pursued the objective of engaging with local SMEs, informing them of the Task Force’s initiatives, discussing the current challenges faced by local SMEs, gagging local interest, and garnering advice on platform’s implementation.
The platform aims to be a unique resource point for SMEs to gain (1) business connections, (2) resources, (3) capacities and (4) knowledge necessary to further develop their businesses. The platform will provide the following services:
1) SME business matching – this space will allow SMEs to provide corporate information and areas of business in order to connect and network with other actors in the region and explore new opportunities. The objective of the SME page is to give the SME the opportunity to present its organization’s “need”, in which investors, business partners (joint ventures), technology transfer opportunities, etc. can be established between organizations to meet these needs. In the case that an SME does not have a webpage, the SME will be able to reference their listing and business information posted on this site as an alternative;
2) Investment zone – SMEs who are looking for funding are able to present their projects and look for investors;
3) Business services – SMEs who need legal, financial or business advising services can access this through service providers listed on the website;
4) Information library – this page provides data, information and publications on the region, up-to-date SME news, and other helpful literature which can be used for SME business development.
The implementation of this platform is set to be initiated in Myanmar, focusing on engaging Myanmar based SMEs, while investors and business servicing agencies will be brought in initially from Hong Kong. Hong Kong is initially targeted because of its role as one of the world’s leading international financial and business centres.
Myanmar SME Consultation Objectives
Overall Objective: To engage with Myanmar based SMEs to inform them of this initiative, to discuss the current challenges faced by local SMEs, to gage local interest, and to garner advice on platform implementation.
Key Session Objectives:
- To identify if an SME connectivity platform is appropriate in addressing the needs and challenges faced by Myanmar’s SMEs;
- Identify and discuss implementation challenges of such a platform and determine appropriate measures to address risks;
- Further conceptualize the platform and discuss added value elements which can enhance the effectiveness of the initiative.