Building the capacities of business development service (BDS) providers and supporting both the formation. Promotion and integration of SME clusters and export consortia into regional and global value chains will be critical in helping to prepare local targeted groups and businesses in CLMV countries for integration into AEC 2015.
The recent MI, Synthesis and Evaluation Workshop on SME Cluster Development and Export Consortia part of an ongoing series of activities and workshops on SME clusters and export consortia formation facilitated by MIs Trade and Investment Facilitation Department and funded by the New Zealand Foreign Affairs and Trade Aid Programme addressed these very issues.
Thirteen participants attended the synthesis workshop to assess both the effectiveness of the series of national MI alumni-facilitated SME Cluster and Export Consortia Formation workshops and the penetration of export consortia formed in CLMV countries throughout the latter half of 2012 into regional and global value chains.
Participants of the synthesis and evaluation workshop included four leaders of the CLMV national workshops and nine export consortia leaders of targeted products including, rattan and rice (Cambodia), silk and handicrafts (Lao PDR), mangoes (Myanmar), and tea and ceramics (Vietnam).
The workshop gave participants an open forum to share their action-plan-implementation experiences and discuss the progress, challenges, and hurdles faced during the formation, promotion, and integration of SME clusters and export consortia into regional and global value chains.
Presentations on best practices and lessons learnt allowed both the MI team and fellow participants to critically evaluate the learning process experienced by their peers. Feedback gained during these sessions will be used to improve similar programs and workshops in the future.