Mekong Institute (MI), with the support of the Thailand International Cooperation Agency (TICA), organized the synthesis and evaluation workshop on ‘Enhancing the Utilization of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) by Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs)’ on March 28-29, 2018 at the MI Residential Training Center. The workshop concludes the said modular training program, re-convening participants to reflect on the technical knowledge and skills they gained following the training in December last year.
The 19 participants, comprising of officials from government agencies, officers of business associations as well as SME owners from Lao PDR, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand (LMVT), shared the experiences from the action plan implementation in their countries, and evaluated the modular training cycle based on relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, sustainability and institutional development and other impacts.*
The action plans were implemented from December 2017 to March 2018 with the participation of over 200 beneficiaries and stakeholders in the national workshops organized by the participants in Lao PDR, Myanmar and Thailand. Likewise in Vietnam, issues on FTA were disseminated to over 6,000 members of VCCI-HCMC Branch and to the general public via the agency’s website.
Participants’ assessment of the training program showed that it satisfied expectations and enhanced the knowledge on FTA of participants and beneficiaries in LMVT. It was also noted that some areas in need of consideration for further improvement include better identification of target groups for the national workshops; increasing cooperation from public and private sectors for building a pool of experts on FTA; updating and sharing FTA information in CLMVT and extending to provincial level, particularly via public websites; and increasing access to financial support. These were identified as necessary to enhance institutional development and ensure sustainability in terms of supporting SMEs’ utilization of FTAs.
For more information on the workshop, please visit the E-Learning page or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested in participating in other MI training programs and activities, please visit the MI activities calendar.
*Adopted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) / Development Assistance Committee (OECD / DAC)